Quarterbacks often are among the first players that commit in a given recruiting class. Spots are limited and they are key in convincing other prospects to follow them to that school.
Iowa still is searching for a signal caller in the Class of 2017. The prospects holding Hawkeye offers in the cycle, Hunter Johnson (Tennessee) and Jake Allen (Florida), are pledged elsewhere.
Iowa continues to evaluate ’17 quarterbacks to locate another good fit. And one of them resides two hours to the west.
West Des Moines Valley Junior Rocky Lombardi returned to Iowa City on Saturday to watch the home team blow out North Texas, 62-16. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder visited for games last year and during the winter for a junior day.
"The first thing that stood out was the nice facilities, the brand new football building. Next was the staff and how nice they were but also serious about football and constantly improving their players both on and off the field," he said.
Lombardi reports scholarship offers from Iowa State and Virginia. Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Minnesota and Nebraska are the other main schools showing interest, he said.
"Things are great with Iowa State and Virginia. I really feel comfortable with both schools and love both programs," he said.
Through five games for Valley (4-1), Lombardi has completed 56 of 105 passes for 956 yards and 10 touchdowns against two interceptions. He’s produced a 157.4 quarterback rating and 17.1 yards per completion.
"I feel like I would be a great fit in Iowa’s or any other pro-style offense," he said.
Assistant Reese Morgan, who recruits in-state for the Hawkeyes, spoke with Lombardi on the field before the game.
"We just talked about life and our season and who we are going to play down the road. He is a very approachable coach and fun to talk to," Lombardi said.
Lombardi said he also chatted with other staff in Iowa’s recruiting department as well.
"I had a talk with Coach (Jim) Reid, too, and mostly we just talked about random stuff. It’s hard to get feedback from the coaches that aren’t your position. But the recruiting coordinators tell us to keep sending in film and stay in touch," he said.
"It’s hard to tell (Iowa’s interest level) just by these visits. Obviously I hope I’m high on their list and can impress them with games to come."