Hawkeye football existed far from his mind just a few years ago.
Then, Iowa rolled to a Big Ten title and a BCS berth in 2002. The news definitely reached Nebraska.
"I didn't even really consider Iowa until last year," said Shada, a senior to be at Millard North High in Omaha.
"They had a geat season. Then I started looking at it. I realized it was an awesome school. They're obviously going to be having some real good success in the next few years. I'm a competitive kid and I like to win. So, that was real important to me."
The 6-foot, 175-pound cornerback verbally committed to Iowa on Friday. He became the fifth member of the 2004 recruiting class.
Players can't sign a binding letter of intent until February. Hawkeye coaches may not speak about prospects until they pen that document.
As a junior, Shada recorded seven interceptions and 74 tackles. He was named second-team all-state.
Shada became the first Nebraska native to accept an Iowa scholarship since head coach Kirk Ferentz took over the program in '99.
Nebraska players rarely looked past their state school in the past. But the Cornerhuskers' struggles last year might be changing things.
Shada knows that he went against the grain, especially with two cousins (Adam and Michael Shada) in the Nebraska program.
Iowa's newest recruit had not broken the news to his Cornhusker cousins as of Friday afternoon.
"All of my friends are telling me to wait," Shada said. "They said that Iowa offered so a lot more schools will offer. My cousins probably want me to go to Nebraska.
"But I just really liked Iowa. I knew it was the place for me. I wanted to get out of state, but I didn't really want to go too far. Iowa was perfect for that."
Shada attended camps at Nebraska and Kansas State, two schools that have shown interest in him. They had not yet offered scholarships, but it probably would not have mattered.
"When I took my trip down here for junior day in May, I decided then that this was the place for me," Shada said. "This was my No. 1. It's been my No. 1 for awhile.
"I figured if my No. 1 offered me, why wait for No. 2."
Shada gave his commitment to Iowa defensive backs coach Phil Parker on Friday. Ferentz was vacationing.
Giving the good news to Parker seemed appropriate. The former all-Big Ten defensive back at Michigan State had a lot to do with Shada liking the Hawkeyes.
"That's what impressed me the most when I was here at camp," Shada said. "He took the best receiver, and he covered him in his tennis shoes. I figured that he obviously played some serious football."
Iowa recruited Shada as a cornerback. He has enjoyed playing there.
"Yeah, I love it," he said. "At North, that's the most competitive position, hands down, because we play press outside.
"We have no help over top. We're stuck outside one-on-one with the receiver. I love that kind of competition."
It sounds like Shada might compete for playing time upon his arrival at Iowa.
"I didn't expect to come in and start as a freshman," he said. "But that idea really appealed to me. Coach said to me 'you're not definitely redshirting. I'm going to give you a chance to compete for a job.'
"That really opened my eyes. Obviously if you're going to play football in college, you want to play."
Shada is a good athlete. He runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. He expects to play quarterback and cornerback this season after playing receiver and cornerback the last two years.
Millard North finished 12-1 in '02, losing by one point in the large school state title game.
Academics also played a big role in Shada's decision to choose Iowa. He has put together a 4.0 GPA in high school. He was considering engineering as his college major.
"I was a Big 12 guy for football when I was growing up," Shada said. "But academics are important to me. And the Big Ten is academically really strong, and Iowa is a great school."
And the newest Hawkeye was happy to have made his decision.
"It's a relief," Shada said. "Now I can just focus on my senior season and getting that state championship. I have Iowa to look forward to in a couple of years."