West Des Moines Valley Coach Gary Swenson may have ruined the secret by telling one of his players he was going to get an offer from Iowa. The talented junior, Sam Raridon, still got pumped up when he received the news from the Hawkeye coaches.
"They told me right before the Pitt game (Sept. 17 on unofficial visit)," the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Class of 2013 standout said. "I was very excited about the (scholarship) offer."
The defensive tackle with strong blood lines became the first known prospect in his class from the state to receive a scholarship offer.
"I really like Iowa," Raridon said. "The atmosphere at Kinnick (Stadium) is electric and exciting and they have a nice campus in general. My favorite part of their football program would have to be the coaching staff."
Raridon has seen quite a few college campuses. His older brother, Scott, played for Notre Dame from 2002--05. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after his senior season at Mason City (Iowa) High. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state for '01.
"My dad and brother have helped me a lot," Sam said. "They help me in every way they can both with the recruiting process and in the offseason."
Sam also has unofficially visited Wisconsin and he planned to take Nebraska up on an invitation to a game sometime this season.
"Other than those two and Iowa, I'm also hearing from Oklahoma," Sam said. "I like the way the recruiting process is going for me now. I have been hearing from the colleges that I have interests in and I have been invited to some great games.
"As far as decision making I probably won't make a decision until my senior year."
The young Raridon said he plays a three-technique defensive tackle and defensive end for Valley. He believes he projects as a D-tackle in college.
"My goals as a player are to be aggressive and physical," Sam said.
Having hopped around the Midwest a bit in his life, Sam Raridon pulled for a few college teams.
"Growing up, I was always a fan of Iowa and Nebraska. I also was a fan of Notre Dame because my brother played for them," he said.