Spearman High on Hawks

Iowa sits comfortable in Reggie Spearman's Top 5. The Class of 2013 linebacker from Chicago Simeon talks about the Hawkeyes and the progress of his recruitment.

Reggie Spearman is considering five Big Ten schools as he works his way towards a signing day decision. Each school offers something the 2013 linebacker likes. For Iowa, it's passion for the game.

"It's a football state," Spearman said. "They love football in Iowa. I love football. I feel like we've got that connection. It's just a great place."

The Hawkeyes sit in the mix with Illinois, to whom Spearman is verbally committed, Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue. He has two official visits remaining after using his first three trips allowed by NCAA rules to see Iowa, the Illini and Hoosiers.

"I'm probably going to Minnesota this weekend coming up," Spearman said. "I'm not sure, but I'll probably visit Purdue, too. That might be my next stop after Minnesota."

Scout.com rates Spearman as the No. 69 outside linebacker nationally in the '13 class. The Chicago Simeon senior ranks as a three-star recruit on the service's five star scale.

"Really, I'm just taking it slow all the way up to signing day (Feb. 6)," the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Spearman said. "I'm just talking to the people coming at me and seeing what they have to offer. I'm really not in a rush."

Spearman spoke on the phone with Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz on Sunday.

"He told me that they really want me," Spearman said. "We went over a couple of things about the defense. I got my questions answered and then we talked about the (NFL playoff) games. I talked to him about life. He's a great coach and well respected."

Spearman is connecting with verbal commitments to the various schools he's considering. Three '13 Hawkeye recruits are trying to pull him to Iowa City.

"I talked to Malik Rucker all of the time," Spearman said. "I talked to John Kenny. I talk to Colin (Goebel). I talk to a lot of Iowa commits. I like talking to those guys. They're great friends of mine."

Spearman also is tight with Aaron Bailey, a '13 quarterback from Bolingbrook. IL, who is verbally committed to Illinois. Bryce Douglas, a DT from Plainfield (IL) Central High, also is trying to get the Simeon standout to join him with the Illini.

"It's good to get their opinions on things," Spearman said. "It helps a lot."

Of the five schools at which Spearman is looking, Purdue and Minnesota were the only ones to make a bowl game in '12. While he has tried to bond with a people at his final five programs, there's one thing that stands out as the most important aspect of his recruitment.

"I'm a winner. I'm a champion. I'm all about winning," Spearman said. "Any school I go to, I want to win. I don't like losing and I don't want the guy next to me thinking it's acceptable. I want the recruiting class I come in with to be strong and on the same page."

Spearman officially visited Iowa for its game against Purdue on Nov. 10. The heavily-favored Hawkeyes fell, 27-24, in a season that saw them finish at 4-8, their worst mark since '00.

"They struggled this year," Spearman said. "That definitely was noticeable. They also lost a lot of close games. I feel like they were a play away here or there. It could have easily gone the other way. It's definitely not a big deal to me."

Spearman is leaning towards a major in sports management or sports medicine. He is impressed with the academic opportunities offered at Iowa.

"Iowa is just a great place," Spearman said. "When I went there, I was expecting it to be all corn fields and not that many people. It was really an eye-opener."

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