"I was just going down there to see how it really was," he said. "I'd been hearing a lot about how it was just a cornfield and there was nothing to do there. I went there to see it for myself and it wasn't what I was expecting. I was impressed. I just thought it was a place I could be."
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Joly thought so highly of his Iowa visit that he verbally committed to the school on Saturday night. The Maryland cornerback became the 14th known verbal commitment in a 2014 recruiting class expected to wind up at about 20 prospects.
"It was just all of the coaches showing me that they really appreciate me as a person," Joly said of the reason why he decided to end his process. "Coach (Chris) White has been showing me a lot of interest as a player. I wasn't getting that from any other schools.
"So, I just felt like a comfortable place to be in; to have people that care about me as a person and as a player."
Joly looked on as the Hawkeyes defeated Western Michigan, 59-3, Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
"The fans were crazy. The fans were insane," he said. "It was a great game and they were really into it."
Joly, who plays for Forestville (MD) High gained an appreciation for life at an early age. You can read about his escaping Haiti at age 10 in a story we wrote about him after he received an Iowa offer HERE.
It was a big reason why he was looking to feel at home at his college of choice. He appreciated the stability Coach Kirk Ferentz brought to the program.
"He's a great coach," Joly said. "I was impressed to hear that he has been at that school for 25 years. Most schools are changing coaches every three years so knowing that the guy that is recruiting me is going to be there when I'm there is just great."
"That was cool," Joly said. "We had a lot to talk about."
Joly became the second Hawkeye verbal in a row that plays cornerback. Texas' Joshua Jackson pledged to Iowa on Aug. 22.
Nine of the 14 verbals are projected to play defense. Look for Iowa to address offensive line, defensive end and linebacker with its remaining scholarships in this class.