Seffner Armwood High School is no strange place to Hawkeye assistant Phil Parker and the rest of the Iowa coaching staff. After previously landing current starting cornerback Antwan Allen and former safety/current reserve linebacker Chris Brevi, the Hawks made yet another attempt this fall in landing one of Armwood's finest.
This time around, the Hawks gave a strong look at the other side of the ball in offering big back Kalvin Bailey.
Considered one of the top fullbacks in the country, the Hawks recruited Bailey as a running back.
"Iowa is going to use him more as a running back than just primarily as a blocking back as he would have been used at Miami(FL)," said Armwood head coach Sean Callahan.
"In the Big Ten Conference, everything has to be big, which Kalvin certainly is, and Iowa really wants to use a big back. They feel they can use him in a lot of situations, and also have a guy that will catch it out of the backfield."
The backfield at Armwood this fall had to be considered one of the country's best, as the quarterback, running back Demetrius McCray, and Bailey all rushed for over 1,000 yards. There was only one game this fall where any of the three had even one carry in the fourth quarter.
Iowa had also offered McCray last spring, but backed off after receiving other commitments from similar type backs. Their pursuit of Bailey continued, though, as they brought him in for an official visit on December 17th.
"He was hosted by Marcus Paschal, and of course, got to talk at length with both Antwan and Chris," added Coach Callahan, who says he plans to be in attendance for the Capital One Bowl. "Antwan and Chris being there, and having such great things to say about Iowa and Kirk Ferentz, I believe that helped Kalvin develop the trust necessary to make the verbal commitment."
Besides having former teammates on campus, Bailey also received encouragement from Coach Callahan, who has been greatly impressed in watching his former players develop at Iowa.
"He and his father placed a lot of trust in me, and I have always given him direction. I'm not here to tell him where to go, but he came back from his visit saying he felt he could fit in at Iowa. I told him I would give him my thoughts, as I've dealt with many head coaches. Kirk Ferentz is head and shoulders above the rest as the finest out there. I don't feel I'm at risk in telling my kids to go play for Iowa."
This season also proved to Callahan that the Hawkeyes could definitely use a player with Bailey's abilities, and that the Iowa coaches are indeed among the nation's best.
"Watching them win games on their 4th and 5th string running backs was simply amazing, and they got a heckuva recruiting class coming in," stated Callahan.
Callahan noted that Bailey is the strongest player he has ever coached, as Kavlin benches over 400 pounds. Not to mention at nearly 6-feet and over 240-pounds, he showed the ability to run away from others at the high school level with his 4.6 second forty speed.
"In college, I'm sure he will probably get caught (from behind), but he has four years to develop in that strength and conditioning program. Coach (Chris) Doyle told me he has worked with both Jerome Bettis and Ron Dayne, and he feels Kalvin brings more to the table than the both of them," Callahan said.
Coach Callahan also has strong praise for each of his former players at Iowa. From talking about Antwan as the kid who will make you laugh to jokingly adding that Hawkeye fans should not allow their girlfriends to spend one on one time with Chris Brevi, he says Bailey will be the role model.
"He is a sharp kid, and people are really drawn to him," continued Callahan. "In a couple of years, he will be on the front of the media guide with his big smile as he has those type of leadership qualities and is the type of kid you are proud to have as a part of your program."