Romeo McKnight has long admired Iowa. Until Tuesday morning, he didn’t know how the Big Ten school felt about him.
Recruiting coordinator Seth Wallace visited him at Crystal Lake (IL) Central High. The coach extended a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end.
McKnight said he was surprised by the opportunity because he hadn’t spoken with Iowa before. Wallace watched him lift weights and then delivered the good news.
"I have always been a big Hawkeye fan so I was pretty excited," McKnight said.
An accomplished wrestler, that’s the sport at Iowa that first entered McKnight’s consciousness. Then, he saw someone he liked on the gridiron.
"I am also a huge Adrian Clayborn fan. I’ve just always rooted for the Hawkeyes," he said.
McKnight said that he will be visiting Iowa on Saturday.
"I’m looking forward to meeting the coaches and seeing the campus and facilities and just getting a feel for Iowa. I am looking for a family for the next 4-5 years. The atmosphere is big and just feeling at home on a campus is important for me," he said.
McKnight, who won the Illinois state high school Class 2A wrestling title at 215 pounds this winter, believes his athleticism and versatility make him an attractive college prospect.
"I feel like I can fit in a lot of different systems. I can play outside linebacker in a three-front and drop back in coverage or in a four-front play defensive end," he said.
McKnight, who is planning to major in Business, isn’t anticipating a commitment on his Iowa visit.
"I think I’m going to let it play out a little through summer and commit before season. But if I get a gut feeling or feel really good about a school, I won’t wait that long," he said.
McKnight also reports scholarship offers from Buffalo, Toledo and Western Illinois. He said he’s hearing from Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Penn State (which came by the school Tuesday), Michigan State, Indiana and Wisconsin. He said MSU and IU would visit him Thursday and the Badgers said they will be in soon.
Scout.com and 247 rank McKnight as a three-star recruit. Rivals does not have a grade for him.