The Wyoming linebacker compared that idea to reality this weekend when he officially visited Iowa. He said there weren't any surprises.
"It was pretty much what I expected it to be. It's just guys working hard in kind of a family atmosphere. It's very intense but, obviously, it works for them because they get the best out of their players," the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder said.
"It was a good trip. We got to meet all the players and all the coaches. We got to see the campus. We were able to get a feel for everything, which was good."
"When we get back from there we'll be able to sit down and break down this whole process," he said.
In addition to the five schools he's officially visiting, hometown Wyoming also remains in the picture for his services, Bartlett said. He attends Cheyenne East High, where he plays quarterback and has won three state wrestling titles.
"We have a set list of things that we're looking for in a school," Bartlett said of he and his parents. "Before it got kind of busy with recruiting, we put down the things that were important and things that weren't important. When we get back from Washington, we'll be able to sit down and look at all these schools straight across and see what one fits me the best."
Bartlett said he will not rush the decision even though his visits will be in the books.
"It's not just going to come down to one or two things. It's a whole collective thing. There are a lot of factors that go into it. Up to this point in my life, it's the biggest decision of my life. We're just going to take it slow. That's why I didn't commit early. The reason we took all the visits is because it's an important decision and we want to make sure we have all the facts," he said.
The Hawkeyes took their shot at impressing Bartlett. Linebacker Bo Bower served as his host the first night and fellow freshman Nate Bazata took the reigns the following evening.
"I just asked them what they thought about the program; what they liked; what they didn't; what to expect if I were to go there," Bartlett said. "It was pretty general stuff but just trying to pick their brains about everything. It was really helpful being around those guys."
Bartlett said he had dinner with linebackers coaches Jim Reid and LeVar Woods both nights. They said they would try him at all three linebacker spots to find the best one for him. They watched film with him to show him how they use players at their position.
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz also took time for Bartlett.
"I really like Coach Ferentz. He seems like a very down-to-earth guy that cares about his players and really promotes the family atmosphere. The conversation there was just him asking me if I had any questions and just showing me who he was," he said.
All of the coaches tried to impress upon Bartlett that he fit the mold of what Iowa has succeeded with in Ferentz's 16 years leading the program.
"I think wrestling has a lot to do with it. My background in that shows that I'm going to work hard and it complements football for them and me. I think it's something that's pretty prevalent in there program. They also recruit a lot of (high school) quarterbacks and have them in their system," Bartlett said.
Despite losing, 37-24, to rival Nebraska Friday, Bartlett experienced Iowa's game-day atmosphere.
"It was pretty loud and rocking. I was pretty impressed with the fact that it was Thanksgiving week and the stadium was still packed. That was cool to see and it was a cool place to be," he said.
Despite a few injuries, Bartlett ran for 1,081 yards and 17 touchdowns this fall. He also threw for 1,179 yards and 9 scores and totaled 152 receiving yards with two trips to the end zone.
During his high school career, Bartlett had over 8,000 all-purpose yards and 83 touchdowns.