Two years ago, Akrum Wadley found a home at Iowa. It was a long way from the rough streets of Newark, N.J.
Wadley shared his story this weekend with Frank Darby, a Class of 2016 receiver from Jersey City (NJ) Lincoln High. Darby was visiting for the Hawkeye recruiting tailgate. He related to Wadley and shared some of his feelings.
"He basically said that he wanted to get away and I was saying the same thing," Darby said. "I wanted to get away from the city, too. He wanted to see what was out there. He told me that he loves it there. That sounds good to me. That was basically it."
Darby announced his commitment to Iowa on Monday. He spent Thursday through Saturday in Iowa City.
"Everything about it was for me," he said. "When I went there, the new facility blew my mind. Everyone down there is friendly. The crime rate is very low. I just felt like that was the place for me to go to. I like the coaching staff. Everybody is cool with each other. They get along with the players."
Darby (6-0, 184) recorded 19 receptions for 532 yards (28.0 YPC) and seven touchdowns as a junior, per NJ.com. He also reported scholarship offers from Pittsburgh and Syracuse, among others.
"I’m a receiver that makes plays. I’m a tough receiver. I like to win. If we need to get a first down on third and 18, throw me the ball deep. I’m going to catch it. I have a motive that no matter what I can be the best," he said.
Darby said he spent a lot of his Iowa visit with Maryland receiver Devonte Young, who committed to the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
"We were just discussing everything about Iowa. He’s a nice person. I get along with him," Darby said.
Darby also played basketball for his high school this winter. Before that, he also played volleyball.
Though he hasn’t had his 40-yard dash timed recently, Darby said he’s plenty fast enough on the field.
"My strength is outrunning my defender and catching the ball," he said.
Darby now can concentrate on becoming a better player with his commitment behind him. He said that is a relief.
"It feels great. It took a lot of stress off my back because my mom kept asking me what college I’m going to go to. She said that whatever college I wanted to do to she was OK with. Iowa is the best fit for me," he said.
Iowa has been on a roll in recruiting. The Hawkeyes have landed 14 prospects since May 18 bringing their total to 16. Nine of the pledges have come in the last week.
CLASS OF 2016 Verbals (Click on name for profile with game film & other offers)