Cody Sokol broke his foot as a high school senior. The injury kept him off of the recruiting radar.
The Arizona product enrolled at Scottsdale Community College in hopes of getting his chance on the Division I level. Now that he's earned that opportunity, he proceeded with caution.
"This is a big decision," the 6-foot-2, 205-pound signal caller said. "I'm a JUCO guy, so I don't get a second chance. I want to go to the place that best suites me."
"I promised myself that I wouldn't make a decision on a trip or right after it," Sokol said. "I wanted to give myself some time. I'm probably going to give myself a week to really take everything in; go over the positives and negatives."
Sokol said he would likely decide during the week between Christmas and the New Year. Arizona, Cincinnati and Iowa are his finalists.
"They're all pretty even in my mind," Sokol said. "It will be wherever I feel like is the best situation for me, not only from a football standpoint, but the best situation to move forward after college. That could mean the NFL, overseas or arena football."
After wrapping up his two-day trip to Arizona, Sokol hopped on a plane Friday night to visit his native Iowa. He was born in Des Moines and lived there until elementary school.
"I just wanted to know how everyone felt about Iowa, players specifically," Sokol said. "I wanted to see what their outlook was on the program. If they enjoyed it; the positives and the negatives."
Sokol found the majority of the feedback he received to be positive.
"A lot of players were talking about how they love the coaching staff," he said. "Everyone was really close to each other and it was a big family atmosphere.
"A lot of them talked about the fans. I could tell just by being there for one weekend that the fans really loved their Hawkeyes. They're treated a little bigger in Iowa than they were everywhere else. I could tell there was a lot of media coverage. I guess it's because they don't have any professional teams. It's based around college sports. I like that a lot."
Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz played host to Sokol.
The coaches shared their plan with Sokol if he chose the Hawkeyes. They preferred to red shirt him as a JUCO with three years to play two. They hoped it would give him time to learn the playbook and bond with teammates as he would be taking on a leadership role.
"They'd still want me to come in and compete (in 2012)," Sokol said. "They said they would probably red shirt me, but you never know. They were big on saying that they're not into the politics stuff.
"Every year you have to earn your job no matter who you are. They don't just give you a starting job just because they recruited you earlier. They treat JUCO guys and walk-ons the same way they treat everyone else. That was good to hear."
Sokol was impressed with his tour of the Tippie Business School and the advisors with whom he met there. He later sat down to go over the playbook with the coaches.
"They showed me a lot of film of Drew Tate," Sokol said. "I kind of imagined myself in that role. I got a good idea of what my reads would be and what would be asked of me in Iowa's offense."
As a sophomore, Sokol threw for 3,807 yards and 43 touchdowns with 10 interceptions for Scottsdale. He completed 253 of 424 pass attempts (59.7 percent).