OK, here’s tomorrow’s story on Cedar Rapids Washington wide receiver Keenan Davis and his commitment to play football at the University of Iowa.
First, a bonus bit that didn’t make the paper.
During my interview with Davis, he said Illini coach Ron Zook is a great recruiter and he could see why kids want to play for him.
Here’s the quote, “I’ve talked to him. He’s a really good guy. You’d want to be around him a lot. I can see why a lot of people . . . He’s a great recruiter. Kids want to be coached by him.”
Reese Morgan was Iowa’s main recruiter with Davis.
CEDAR RAPIDS — This all started two years ago, when Keenan Davis burst on the scene as a sophomore wide receiver for Cedar Rapids Washington.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder earned first-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference with 36 grabs and eight touchdowns. Wanting to lock down their backyard, the Iowa Hawkeyes didn’t waste anytime offering a scholarship.
Two years later, Cedar Rapids is locked down.
Davis committed to the Hawkeyes on Sunday, picking Iowa over Illinois, Arizona State, Oklahoma and Colorado. Davis said it came down to Iowa and Illinois. He praised Illinois coach Ron Zook, but it came down to location and relationships.
Davis said he wants his mom and dad (Caryn and Kenneth) and two older brothers to be able to see him play. During what he said was a “dozen” unofficial visits to Iowa, Davis said he’s reached a comfort level with Iowa’s entire coaching staff, including first-year receivers coach Erik Campbell.
“I wanted to make all my visits, but then I thought I didn’t want to be away from family and friends,” Davis said. “I really do want to be with my family. I had a couple talks and thought, ‘Why not Iowa?’ Family, friends and I have a really good relationship with the coaches.”
Davis credited Cedar Rapids Washington head coach Tony Lombardi with helping guide his recruitment. He said Lombardi helped get his name out there, passing out highlight tapes at coaching conferences.
“It’s not even just me,” Davis said. “He’s getting (Washington running back) Andre (Dawson) and (Washington quarterback) Wyatt (Suess) out there. If we didn’t have him, I’m not sure we’d get recruited. He’s helped a lot.”
Davis earned first-team Class 4A all-state honors last year catching 87 passes for 1,313 yards and 16 touchdowns. Kansas, Nebraska and Cincinnati also offered.
Of course, Iowa fans were nervous. The bruises from missing out on former Washington star receiver Adrian Arrington in 2004 are still there. Arrington picked Michigan over the Hawkeyes and went on to have a decent career. In April, he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round.
For Davis, being a “big-time” recruit was amusing, but he didn’t let it engulf him.
“A lot of people know you and ask you a lot of questions,” he said. “It’s fun, but it can be not annoying but it can kind of get to you sometimes. It’s a fun process overall, though.”
The most fun he had was after his initial offer from Iowa.
“Everybody started asking about it,” he said. “That’s when people first started hearing my name. It was a big deal for me.”
Davis believes he could see playing time right away at Iowa. The heart of Iowa’s receiving corps is underclassmen like sophomore Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and junior Trey Stross, but Iowa will lose a key after this season in senior Andy Brodell.
“I’ve talked to all the coaches and they said I have the possibility to start or play,” Davis said. “They want me to play right away. Hopefully, I can do that for them.”
Davis capped off a busy week of Iowa football recruiting.
First, Iowa lost West Des Moines Valley offensive lineman David Barrent when he de-committed in favor of Michigan State. Then, Iowa welcomed Mount Pleasant wide receiver Jordan Cotton and Marion O-lineman Drew Clark into the fold.
The Hawkeyes now have four commitments, with Toledo, Ohio, running back Brad Rogers among the four. Oral commitments are non-binding. The national signing period begins in February.
“I feel really comfortable with my decision,” Davis said. “I’m just relieved and happy about it.”