This all started nearly three 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, Iowa locked down Davis, now a 6-3, 200-pounder.
Davis picked the Hawkeyes 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.”
So, the big question with Davis is if he plays next season.
He said the chance is there.
“Coaches have told me there’s a spot,” said Davis, who caught 169 passes for 2,602 yards and 26 TDs in his career at Wash. “It’s not going to be given to me, but I can take it. They told me they want me to play and be that guy, but I’ve got to go out and compete for it. It’s all up to me.”
Coach Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday that Davis’ commitment helped spur Iowa’s ’09 class.
“We were impressed with him at an early age and he’s improved with each opportunity,” Ferentz said. “That’s been fun to watch. He’s an impressive guy. It was a relief for all of us when he made up his mind in the summer, to attend Iowa. It helped give us some momentum. When those guys make their minds up they are coming, that is a good thing.”
On playing time next season, Ferentz lumped his answer on Davis with RB Brandon Wegher and WR Jordan Cotton:
“We’ll let that play itself out on the field. Those guys, along with some other guys have that potential. It really factors into a few things. It depends on how ready they are once they get here and how they make the transition into the program and university. The other thing is our condition at that point, what needs we may have.”