Dalvin Warmack plays for a school with a rich history at running back. He appreciates programs that hand off the ball. It makes sense that the Class of 2014 prospect would be looking at Iowa and it at him.
"Names start to fade a little because of all the great players that come through our high school," Warmack said. "Our school is known for producing really good running backs. His name still gets brought up, though, as one of the best, if not the best ever at Blue Springs High School."
As a junior, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Warmack was named the Kansas City metropolitan area player of the year. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was the only other 11th-grader to win the Simone Award.
Warmack rushed for almost 2,300 yards and a school-record 40 touchdowns in helping the Wildcats to a 13-1 record and a state title this fall. He was the first Blue Springs product to win the Simone Award since Betts did it in 1996.
Warmack is searching for a college that offers a great football atmosphere. He sees that at Iowa.
"One of the biggest things that stood out to me was the structure of the stadium," Warmack said. "I liked how close the stands were to the field. I feel like it will be a hostile environment and electrified feeling on Saturdays."
Warmack traveled to Iowa City with Blue Springs teammate, Elijah Lee, a '14 defensive lineman also being recruited by the Hawkeyes.
"Coach (Eric) Johnson told us that we were pretty high up on their board," Warmack said.
The prep teammates spent some time talking to Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz.
"He said that he wanted us to come back up in the spring for a practice for a full day and hang out with the players and the coaches," Warmack said. "He wanted us to get to know the community of Iowa City a little bit better."
Warmack said the Iowa coaches told him they had spent a lot of time watching his highlight film.
"There are a lot of little things that they like," he said. "They like my spin moves and they said it was neat that whenever I got through the line that it seems like I have good vision and feet."
Warmack reports a 4.47-second, 40-yard dash. He said his style differs from that of Betts.
"I used to watch Ladell Betts play for the Washington Redskins," Warmack said. "He was a big, powerful back. I would like to say that I have his determination as a runner to get every yard I can. He was more of a straight-ahead runner than me."
The recruiting process is not one that Warmack will rush. He would like to decide before his senior season but would be OK waiting if it didn't feel like the time was right.
"As of right now, I'm just trying to enjoy it," he said. "I'm trying to soak in everything I can from every college."
Warmack reports a scholarship offer from Toledo. He plans to attend upcoming junior days at Illinois, Kansas and Missouri and will drop by the Tigers spring practice.
"I'm hearing a little bit more from K-State," Warmack said. "Coach Del Miller came up (to Blue Springs High) recently."
As Warmack sets out on more visits, there's one trip under his belt that already has him impressed.
"The visitors pink locker rooms were pretty cool," he said of Iowa. "They just have a great coaching staff. I'm excited to see the renovations they do to add on to the weight room and the practice facility."