"It was great," the 2011 WR from Detroit said about his recent visit. "You get everybody telling you about corn fields and tractors, but it wasn't like that at all. It was a great school in the middle of a little city.
"I liked it a lot. I plan on going back there to camp, maybe a two-day."
Gaines plays for Crockett Vocational Tech, where he caught 56 balls for 817 yards and seven touchdowns and rolled up 71 tackles and seven interceptions as a junior cornerback. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound receiver holds an Iowa offer and other schools are interested.
Gaines said he hopes to make his decision on a college by the end of July. He doesn't want recruiting to interfere with his senior season at Crockett.
"I think we have a chance to win a state championship," he said.
Gaines said some schools are recruiting him as a defensive back and others as a receiver. Iowa falls into the latter group.
"Iowa wants me as a receiver, but I would like to try and do both," Gaines said. "The (Iowa) coaches said if they feel like I'm a good enough athlete and show I can handle it, they'll let me try. I'm going to go for it."
"They're both really cool," Gaines said. "They kept it real and it let me be loose and be myself. It was like talking to one of my friends."
Gaines also got to sit down for a one-on-one with head Hawkeye Kirk Ferentz on his visit.
"It was good," he said. "We didn't even talk much about football. We talked a lot about academics and that he views a student-athlete as a student first.
"He said if I stick to it I can come out of Iowa with a degree. I liked hearing that."
Gaines said his visit felt official even though it was unofficial.
"That's the way they treated me," he said. "It was great. Everybody was very welcoming."
Gaines said that he grew up rooting for Michigan and Michigan State, where his brother attended. He also said that he's decided not to wait around for those in-state schools to offer him a scholarship.
"A lot of the schools are being a little wishy-washy," he said. "They want me on offense. They want me on defense.
"I'm probably going to make my decision in June or July and I want that to be it. I don't want recruiting interfering with my season."