At 6-2, 285 pounds with room to expand, college coaches see Jemal Averette as a potential force on the line. The Maryland product brings to mind a former Hawkeye star who wreaked havoc from his defense tackle position.
"They said I remind them of a few players that they coached there that were real good players," Averette said. "Mike Daniels was one of them."
Averette visited Iowa with his mother this weekend. He left town impressed.
"It was amazing," he said. "It changed how I viewed Iowa. I like Iowa a lot more than before I came out to visit. I didn't think the athletic facilities would be as nice as they were."
Averette joined other Hawkeye targets and verbal commitments at an annual barbecue held for recruits.
"I was very close to committing, actually," he said.
Averette said he wants to take some time to talk with his family before making a decision. He's scheduled to camp with Maryland on Wednesday and Georgia Tech on July 14. He reports offers from Toledo and Charlotte.
"This puts Iowa in the front seat, in the driver's seat, actually," Averette said. "They're my No. 1 right now."
A few of Averette's flights were canceled on Friday before he finally made it to Iowa City. The Our Lady of Good Counsel standout was not at all put off by its distance from Maryland.
"Iowa kind of feels like home to me," Averette said. "I feel like there would be great people around me and they would be my family. They seemed like they loved me there."
Averette spent time talking to head coach Kirk Ferentz.
"It was amazing," Averette said. "He gave me a good speech about the program. He told me about the history of the program. He told me how I was going to get better through the years there as a player and a person."
Averette, who will study criminal justice in college, received a tour of campus. He met with an academic counselor and looked over what classes he would take. That impressed his mother.
"She enjoyed the visit," Averette said. "She liked it a lot."