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Clear Creek-Amana star wrestling with college decision, picking among five top-flight schools

T.J. Bollers, a star football player for Clear Creek-Amana High School, works out in the garage at his home in Tiffin. (Scott Saville/KCRG)
T.J. Bollers, a star football player for Clear Creek-Amana High School, works out in the garage at his home in Tiffin. (Scott Saville/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: May. 20, 2020 at 11:08 PM CDT
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The novel coronavirus pandemic has sped up the recruiting process for Clear Creek-Amana football star T.J. Bollers.

"I was planning on going to California, Wisconsin, and Iowa State all in June and then possibly hitting some in July," T.J. said. "But, with this new dead period, It's definitely changed that. Alabama and Penn State, those are places I haven't been able to go to. So I haven't actually been able to experience the campus."

T.J. has narrowed his list to five schools and will now make his decision in June. He'll be choosing between Wisconsin, Iowa State, Nebraska, Penn State, and Alabama, having crossed Cal off his list on the day he spoke with KCRG-TV9.

For him, the hardest part is telling coaches no.

"It's so hard," Jennifer Bollers, T.J.'s mom, said. "You know, the thought of him leaving? The thought of having to break up with these coaches that we have such amazing relationships with, all of them."

It has been a wild recruiting ride for T.J., ever since he got his first offer from Iowa State as a ninth-grader.

"Talking with Nick Saban on the phone isn't something a lot of people get to do," T.J. said. "But I was fortunate enough to be able to Zoom with him, with his staff, and I've learned a lot about them."

T.J. is a hard worker, whose day starts at 6:00 a.m. working at Fareway followed by online schooling. It ends at 7:30 p.m. after a hard workout with his dad, Trevor.

He's also a straight-A student and wants to be an engineering major in college.

"You never know how long your career is going to last," T.J. said. "So you are going to have to have something to do from whenever your career ends on. Engineering has always been a passion of mine."

Trevor played football for the Hawkeyes but didn't pressure his son to sign with his beloved Hawks.

"Although challenging, because we're raving Hawk fans, we understood that this was his process," Trevor said.

His process, and a decision that will have the biggest impact on his life.

"He needs to be comfortable where he is going for his future, the one that he is building for the rest of his life," Jennifer said.

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