Rico Gafford hoped his transfer from Des Moines East to prep football power West Des Moines Dowling Catholic would bring him more attention. It happened before he ever stepped foot on the field for the Maroons.
"My contact with Iowa started after I transferred to Dowling (in January)," the 5-foot-9, 172-pound defensive back said.
Gafford spend the first half of the school year at East, where he earned third-team all-state honors in Class 4A from the Iowa Newspaper Association as a defensive back. He was among the state's leaders with six interceptions and also excelled on offense and special teams as a return man.
"I feel like my ability to cover a wide receiver is my best attribute," Gafford said "I have been working on getting faster and stronger so that i can be one of the best players in Iowa."
Gafford reports a time of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He is sitting out track as required by the state's transfer rules after being among the better sprinters around in his first two years of high school qualifying twice for the Drake Relays and the state meet.
Gafford visited Iowa and Iowa State this spring. He said they are recruiting him the hardest.
"I feel like these two colleges like me a lot because they tell me they are really interested in me," Gafford said.
Assistant Reese Morgan is leading the Hawkeyes' recruitment of Gafford.
"I feel like Iowa's program is very strong," he said. "The coaches are super cool. I could see myself at Iowa."
Gafford participated in a regional scouting camp this spring and hoped to get to some campus events in the coming months.
Gafford is considering a business major.
"I'll probably make my decision when I find out what college i will be attending," he said.