From Hometown to Titletown

Barrington’s Lukas Van Ness Drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

Article by Michael Beightol

Photography by Michael Beightol & UIowa Media

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Lukas Van Ness has achieved something no other Barrington High School football player has ever done. He was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. In fact, Van Ness is the only player ever from the Mid Suburban League drafted in the first round.

The University of Iowa defensive lineman, the son of Leanna and Jason Van Ness, grew up a two-sport athlete. Some say he may have been better at hockey than football. Playing for the Hawkeyes in Iowa City was always a dream from when asa kid he attended games with family. It was at Iowa where the gangly teenager with the impressive wingspan and high work ethic came into his own.

His Iowa teammates called him Hercules because of his prowess in the weight room. During an interview with Green Bay reporters Van Ness laughed about his nickname. “I love to work out, so honestly it’s a cool nickname.”

Brian Gutekunst, Packer’s general manager, has high hopes for Van Ness. "I do think he's going to play right away," Gutekunst said. "I would expect him to be able to help us this year." 

Van Ness said he’s excited about playing for Green Bay. “I couldn’t have asked for a better result,” Van Ness said. “I can’t wait to get out there and wear that green” and gold.

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