A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CovCath all-state football player decides to continue his career with Ivy League college team

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Covington Catholic offensive tackle Hunter Ziegelmeyer, one of five Northern Kentucky high school football players who earned all-state honors last season, will continue his career at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

CovCath offensive tackle Hunter Ziegelmeyer was selected third-team all-state in a statewide poll of coaches. (Photo by Steve Dyer)

Ziegelmeyer, a third-team all-state selection, accepted a financial aid package from the prestigious Ivy League school, which does not offer athletic scholarships. The Big Green football team posted a 4-6 record last season after finishing 9-1 in 2015 and sharing the league title with two other teams.

One of the top students in CovCath’s senior class, Ziegelmeyer said his decision to attend Dartmouth was based on the college’s academic reputation as much as the football program’s success.

“When I was flushing out schools I was always looking for academics first and athletics second,” he said. “When I started getting to Ivy League schools I kind of shoved off everybody else who was lower. I was very attracted to an Ivy League education.”

Ziegelmeyer will not sign a letter of intent with Dartmouth on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA official signing period. He plans to wait until a couple of his CovCath teammates make their college choices and have a signing ceremony at school with them.

The CovCath senior also received financial aid packages from Army, Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and two other Ivy League members — Columbia and Brown. He turned down athletic scholarship offers from several other football programs, including Eastern Kentucky University.

Hunter Ziegelmeyer

College football coaches recruited Ziegelmeyer because of his size, athletic ability and academic resume. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle also played basketball at CovCath for two years. He has a 3.9 grade point average and scored a 32 on the American College Test. He is one of five nominees for the Brian Williams That’s My Boy Award that goes to the top student-athlete in Northern Kentucky high school football each year.

“It’s kind of been a dream,” he said of the recruiting attention and all-state recognition he received. “I was thinking about that a couple days ago and it doesn’t feel real yet. I’m extremely happy.”

Ziegelmeyer plans to get a degree in chemical engineering at Dartmouth while continuing his football career as an offensive tackle or guard for the Big Green. He expects the football team to be back in the hunt for an Ivy League title in 2017.

“They’re returning their quarterback, four of their offensive linemen, all of their wide receivers and the majority of their defense, so I think we will have a good shot at it this year,” the new recruit said.

The two Northern Kentucky football players voted first-team all-state in a statewide coaches poll conducted by the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper signed letters of intent on Wednesday. Cooper wide receiver Dante Hendrix is going to Indiana State and Holy Cross senior linebacker Derrick Barnes is headed to Purdue.

Simon Kenton senior linebacker Brian Carter, who was voted second-team all-state, has not yet made a college commitment. Ryle senior quarterback Tanner Morgan, a third-team all-state selection, finished high school in December so he could enroll for the spring semester at the University of Minnesota.

Morgan was recruited by P.J. Fleek while he was head coach at Western Michigan University. After Fleek was hired for the head coaching job at Minnesota, Morgan decided to go there and play for him.

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