The Iowa football team has made a name for itself in the Tampa area. The Hawkeyes have played there in three Outback Bowls during the last eight years.
Iowa is trying to use its strong reputation in city to snag a talented 2012 wide receiver. Austin Aikens hails from Plant Senior High.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound route runner visited Iowa City with his family on Thursday.
"It was great," Aikens said. "I got a chance to talk with all of the coaches. I talked with the strength coach. I asked a few of the players what it was like at Iowa. I had a real good time there."
The Iowa staff escorted Aikens through everything he wanted to see on the campus.
"They showed me the field, the weight room and the business school," he said. "They showed me the different business majors and the class rooms. They showed me how much academic support you get there. You really can't fail with all of that support unless you run away from it."
Aikens hopes to major in finance.
The second-team, all-county wide receiver reported to Scout.com that he ran a 4.52-second, 40-yard dash, 4.09 in the 20-yard shuttle and jumped 42 inches in the vertical. He said he averaged 22.4 yards per catch as a junior.
Aikens, who Scout.com ranks as a two-star recruit on a five-star scale, spent some quality time with Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz on Thursday.
"He was a real cool dude," Aikens said. "He seems like a real good coach. I talked with the players and they told me he was a real good coach. We talked about the style of offense. The pro set gets you ready for the pros. I had a real good conversation with him."
Aikens has unofficially visited Missouri (Wednesday), Iowa (Thursday), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke and Georgia. He is on his way to see Cincinnati and Western Kentucky after leaving Iowa City. He said that will be the end of visits until after the season.
Aikens reports scholarship offers from Iowa, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Boston College, Missouri and Florida International. He said that North Carolina State could be close to coming forward with an offer.
"So far, they're all kind of up there," Aikens said of his top schools. "I really don't have any favorites. I really like them all. The schools that I've visited, I like those schools.
"I kind of want to wait until after the season (to decide). But it all depends on what happens. I have to go home and analyze my visits. I took a lot of notes and I want to weigh the pros and cons of each school."