IOWA CITY, Iowa - Jordan Lomax approached recruiting with an open mind. While some prospects are swayed by proximity to home, fancy uniforms or other bells and whistles, he focused on fit.
Lomax ultimately chose Iowa because it met his needs athletically and academically. It did not matter that it was located half a country away from his Maryland home.
The Hawkeyes topped the in-state school for Lomax's services. Maryland was the first school to offer the DeMatha Catholic defensive back a scholarship, he said.
The Terrapins play host to Iowa Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN2). Family and friends will surround Lomax.
"I handled everything (ticket requests, phone calls, etc.) earlier in the week so now I have this whole week to prepare for Maryland," the Hawkeyes starting free safety said. "Yeah, I'm going to see my family but at the same time playing the game is my number one priority right now. I just want to go out there and execute our details and get the win against Maryland."
Iowa true freshman Miles Taylor, who by team rules isn't able to speak with the media this year, also hails from the DMV (Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) area. The Gonzaga College High (Silver Spring, MD) product is playing special teams this season.
Iowa has mined the fertile DMV for prospects. They've beaten tough competition to land players.
Jim Poggi (reported offers from, among others, Auburn, Ohio State and Penn State), Anthony Ferguson (Penn State) and Marcus Coker (Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford) signed with Iowa in its 2010 recruiting class. Nico Law (Michigan State, Maryland, West Virginia), Lomax (Louisville, Maryland, Pittsburgh) and Cooper (Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State) followed a year later. After coming up empty in the next two cycles, the Hawkeyes picked up Taylor (Georgia Tech), Truitt (Maryland, Tennessee) and Joly (Maryland, Vanderbilt) in February.
Lomax played host to Taylor, Truitt and Joly on their official visits last year. When he and Cooper took their officials, Coker influenced them.
"Him being out here let me know that this transition was possible to make," Lomax said.
Lomax said he did not grow up a Terrapin fan. He did take a recruiting visit there.
"I looked at them pretty seriously but at the end of the day I made the decision to come to Iowa. I don't regret the decision at all," he said.
Lomax has played with and against several members of the Maryland team. He ran track against Terps receiver Deon Long. DeMatha faced off against Good Counsel of Olney and all-american wideout Stefon Diggs. Andre Monroe attended St. John's College, also Truitt's alma mater.
Despite all of the connections, Lomax said he's not treating this week's game as a battle for bragging rights.
"I'm just worried about getting a win with the team. As long as I can celebrate in the locker room with all my teammates that's all I care about," he said.