Much of recruiting is about connections. Iowa has one at Largo (FL) High and is hoping to use it to its advantage.
The Hawkeyes on Friday offered a scholarship to Class of 2015 athlete Jonathan Crawford, according to his coach, Marcus Paschal, a former Iowa and NFL defensive back.
"I talked to Coach (Chris) White before they offered and they really liked what they saw in (Crawford)," said Paschal, a second-team All-Big Ten Safety as a senior in 2006. "They offered him as an athlete. They like him as a receiver and a safety. I think he's going to excel wherever he ends up playing."
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Crawford reports scholarship offers from UConn, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, N.C. State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Central Florida, Virginia, Wake Forest, Wisconsin and others. Miami (FL) and Iowa State are showing consistent interest and could be close to offering, he said.
"I'm not really focused on (recruiting) right now," Crawford said. "I'm just taking it in. I'll probably commit after the season after I take my officials. I started researching some schools but I'm really just taking it slow right now."
Crawford, who Scout.com ranks as a three-star prospect, said that most programs see him as a safety on the next level. East Carolina likes him as a linebacker.
"He plays basketball and can really jump so he's able to attack the ball at it's highest point on both sides of the ball," Paschal said. "He's a really well-rounded athlete and very coachable. He's not a blazer but he can run and he has great hands. His range on defense, especially, is crazy."
Crawford participates in the triple jump and the 200 meters for the Largo track team. He reports running the 200 in 23 seconds.
Paschal said he will tell his story of his time at Iowa when Crawford is ready. Ultimately, his pupil must find the best fit for him, however.
"He hasn't said much about it yet but I feel like he's going to say something about it once we get to summer workouts," Crawford said with a laugh. "I'm interested to hear about it. I'm interested in Iowa."
Crawford holds opportunities from schools all over the country. He said that location is not important in his decision. He just wants contentment.
"I'm looking for a place where I fit in the system and have a comfort level with the coaches. I want a good relationship with them," Crawford said. "I'm just looking for the right feeling. A lot of kids commit early and then find out it's not the place for them. I want to wait to make sure it's right."
Crawford said he doesn't have any plans for campus visits.
"I might get out to some of the local schools but I'm probably going to wait for my officials," he said.