Ben Brust's star was rising. He'd collected several scholarship offers and it appeared that more could be on the way. Then, the combo guard from Illinois closed out his recruitment.
Brust told the Iowa coaches on Wednesday afternoon that he would be a Hawkeye, choosing the program over Northwestern and Butler. He recently visited Virginia and Stanford was beginning to increase its recruitment of him. Neither of those schools had offered a scholarship yet.
"Part of me, maybe (thought about waiting until after the July evaluation period)," the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder said. "But once I went over this all, I really knew that I was 100 percent into Iowa and I wanted to go there. So, not really."
Brust, who averaged 29 points a game for Mundelein Cons High, formed a good relationship with Cully Payne, an incoming freshman for the Hawkeyes. They played AAU ball together for the Illinois Rising Stars. They spent some time together early this week when Brust unofficially visited Iowa for a second time this spring.
"I sat down with a bunch of people since I got back (Tuesday)," Brust said. "We really talked it out. I enjoyed everything about Iowa in terms of the basketball program, the school, the atmosphere, everything fit me well. I talked it over with my parents and a few coaches and I decided it was the best decision."
Brust got an overview of the school and Iowa City on his first visit. This time, he was looking for a connection.
"I really saw that Coach (Todd) Lickliter has guys that have high character and are ready to compete at the highest level," Brust said. "There's just something different there. I really believe and trust in what Coach Lickliter is going to do."
Beyond the personal connection, Brust also feels his game fit's the system at Iowa.
"It makes the guards make a decision out there," He said. "I love reading and reacting to the game. I really think it gives me an opportunity to do that."
There's a chance that Brust will continue to receive attention from other schools until he signs a binding letter of intent in November. It's the nature of recruiting.
"I am 100 percent into Iowa," Brust said. "Nothing will change."
Like many that have ended their recruitment before him, Brust felt much relief on Wednesday.
"I feel like I just took a truck off of my back," he said.