For most high school players, their recruitment begins months, even years before they make their final decision. For Iowa's latest verbal commitment, Brad Herman of Metamora, Ill., that process sped up just a bit, with him making first contact with Iowa about a month before he made his decision this weekend.
"I sent out 21 tapes to various different schools that I would be interesting in going to, and Iowa was one of them," Herman said. "It was really surprising, within five days, they contacted my coach. They were just really excited about me. I was really surprised about that, the odds of that happening; they get tons of stuff like that every day. I think I'm kind of lucky that this happened that way."
After talking with the staff several more times, Herman was invited to campus on an unofficial visit, as Iowa took on Illinois last weekend. That Saturday, Herman attended the game, coming away impressed.
The city of Iowa City also made a positive impression for Herman.
"It's a great town, and there are great people in it," he said. "I think it's a big town with a small, college atmosphere. It's kind of hard to describe. I think it's a healthy medium between a big city and a college out in the middle of a cornfield."
While on the visit, Herman got some great news from the coaching staff.
"I ate breakfast with a couple of the coaches and they said, 'Congratulations, you've got a scholarship here,'" Herman said. "I'm very fortunate, I know a lot of recruiting probably doesn't happen that way."
For Herman, it was the realization of several years of work, beginning a bit later than most. The offer was a great moment for him and his family. Herman's father, born in Waterloo, raised in Moline, was quite familiar with the Hawkeyes, having attended wrestling camps under Dan Gable in high school. His family celebrated.
"It wasn't the fact that it was Iowa, as much as that I had finally accomplished my goal," Brad said of his father's reaction. "I started my sophomore year, just having a goal to play Division 1 football. I think he was excited that it finally happened."
Herman, who is slotted at linebacker, was seeing interest from Missouri and Purdue, along with offers from Illinois State and Western Illinois. He hopes to take an official visit to Iowa City in December, after his team finishes their run in the playoffs.
When asked if he would be fielding any other offers from schools, Herman laughed.
"I don't know where else I'd go," he said. "The coaching staff is what sold me. It's going to be sweet to play at Iowa."