Canada is best known for producing world-class hockey players. However, the sport played with the oblong ball receives a lot of attention north of the border.
The Canadian Football League has a rich history. Now, it seems like more and more prep age kids are getting noticed for their talents on the gridiron.
Iowa has been pursuing 2012 defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie, a canadian prepping in the Chicago Area. This week, the Hawkeyes offered a scholarship to a running back in the class. Akeel Lynch was born and raised in Toronto.
"I think they offered on Monday, but we weren't sure," the 6-foot, 200-pounder said. "My coach emailed them and they called (Thursday) to tell me I had an offer."
Lynch plays for St. Francis High on the Buffalo, N.Y. area. This weekend, he is officially visiting Boston College, the school to whom he has verbally committed. He will take an official to Iowa on Dec. 9.
"I'm definitely still a soft verbal to BC right now," Lynch said. "I'm visiting them (this weekend). I just want to go there and make sure I'm making the right decision. Then, I'm going to check out Iowa."
Lynch said he's not sure where is recruitment will go after the Iowa trip.
"I'm still waiting to hear from some other schools," he said. "My coach is handling that. Illinois was in there, but I'm waiting to see what happens with their coaching situation. North Carolina also is showing interest. I'm waiting to see what happens there, too, with their coach. A lot of it is just waiting right now."
Lynch went to Boston College last summer but looks forward to seeing more of Chestnut Hill this weekend.
"I went to camp, but I didn't get to tour the school and learn about the school," he said.
Lynch said that Iowa began recruiting him about a month ago.
"They watched my film and then came down to see me this week," he said. "I talked with Coach (Lester) Erb. They're just telling me it's a great program. They say it's a great city. They want me to come see it for myself. I'm looking forward to it."
Lynch knows what is most important for him on these official visits.
"I want to see if I can see myself going there for four or five years," he said. "College is a business and coaches get fired all the time. You want to make sure you'd still want to be at that school even if the coach gets fired. I'm definitely going to check out the school and see if I can see myself in that atmosphere."
Lynch said he could see himself fitting into the Iowa offense.
"I think I'm a slasher," he said. "I love the zone (blocking) concept. It gives you a chance to read, make a decision and go. I believe I'm a complete back. I believe I can do it all."
Getting a chance to play Division I football is a goal realized for Lynch.
"Division I football provides a full scholarship, which is real important," he said. "You don't have to take out student loans. You also see the attention it gets. It gets as much hype as the NFL in Canada. There are a lot of kids (from Canada) that dream of playing Division I ball."
Lynch reports a 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds. Scout.com ranks him as the 60th best safety in the 2012 class and a three-star overall.