Iowa long snapper Tyler Kluver makes a reception off of a trick play on fourth down during the Iowa/Ohio State football game in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes in a storming fashion, 55-24. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Chocolate milk for Kluver, card games for Daniels

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Tyler Kluver turned to chocolate milk to gain 20 pounds by Iowa’s Pro Day, and James Daniels explained how one NFL scout asked him to participate in a card game at the combine.

By Adam Hensley

adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

The name Tyler Kluver didn’t stand out for Iowa fans prior to the Hawkeyes 55-24 shellacking of Ohio State on Nov. 4, 2017. But from then on, his name would forever remain synonymous in Hawkeye lore with the word “polecat.”

“Polecat,” the name given to Iowa’s fake field-goal play in which Colten Rastetter took a shotgun snap from Kluver, took off as though he was going to keep it himself, pulled up, and fired a pass to Kluver, who the Buckeyes left uncovered in the middle of the field.

“I am 1-for-1, 100 percent catch percentage, 18 yards — I’d say that’s pretty good production,” the senior joked.

Kluver, a Marshalltown native, came out of high school as the fourth-best long snapper nationally. After four years with the Hawkeye program, his name rarely came up in conversation, but that’s not a bad thing — it means there weren’t any snapping miscues.

Physically speaking, Kluver doesn’t stand out.

“They’re going to see you and you’re 5-10,” Kluver said. “So you’re going to have to do something else.”

Kluver weighed in at 215 pounds at the time of Iowa’s bowl game, but now he’s up to 235. Putting on 20 pounds in a few months wasn’t easy, though.

His secret: 1,000 calories of chocolate milk per day.

RELATED: Hawkeyes not invited to the NFL Combine relish Pro Day opportunity

“It’s not fun. We obviously have the refueling station here with unlimited supply,” Kluver said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without that, or else I would have been really broke.”

Kluver said he drank four to five doses of chocolate milk a day, each with 200 calories.

“They’re actually really good,” he said. “I really, really like them. I’m not sick of them yet. Hopefully, I don’t have to put on too much more weight, but if a team picks me up and says they want me at 245 or 250, I’ll get there.”

Kluver’s frame doesn’t jump off the charts, but he truly believes he’s one of the nation’s most athletic long snappers. He ran his 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds, ran a 4.17 second shuttle, completed the three-cone drill in 6.88 seconds.

He notched a 33-inch vertical and a 6-8 broad jump. Kluver also completed 22 reps on bench press.

“I just need one team to want a 5-10 long snapper,” he said.

Card games for Daniels

Each year, stories come out of NFL hopefuls being asked odd questions or being asked to complete odd tasks at the combine.

For example, Texas punter Michael Dickson was asked by members of the Seattle Seahawks to compete in a staring contest.

Daniels, who’s expected to be selected anywhere in the first three rounds of this year’s upcoming NFL Draft, said that during his time at the Combine in Indianapolis, he didn’t experience any strange interviews, but one tactic stood out to him in particular.

During an informal interview, one NFL team representative had Daniels participate in a card game.

“For the entire interview, this guy had 12 cards,” Daniels said. “He’d show me the cards, then he’d flip them over and shuffle them around, and then I’d have to find out which card was what at the end of the interview.”

How well did he do?

“I probably got like half of them right,” Daniels said.

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