Iowa Football is spending a lot of time recruiting Florida these days. With Florida native Abdul Hodge and fellow assistant Ladell Betts, who coached high school in the Sunshine State before returning to his alma mater, the Hawkeyes own connections there.
They jumped in with a scholarship offer for 2025 Tampa Carrollwood Day Athlete Xavier Goulbourne on Monday. He was excited for the opportunity.
“I appreciate the offer very much,” he told HF. “I’m extremely blessed to receive an offer because there are many kids out there that don’t get the right attention and exposure they should get. So, it means a lot to me to have been offered by a great program like Iowa.”
Arkansas, Penn State and Indiana also have offered Goulbourne scholarships during the last month or so. He plays outside linebacker and running back in high school.
“I don’t know much about Iowa and the program right now, but it’s an amazing school. I’ve seen that just by reading and watching college football and learning from coaches talking to me,” he said.
Despite only being halfway through his high school career, the Hawkeye staff saw enough to believe Goulbourne can help it in the future.
“My height and size were big parts to the coaches liking me,” the 6-2, 205-pound sophomore said. “They also like how I play and the player I am on the field and off the field, not only with academics but out of class, too,” he said.
Goulbourne said he might visit Iowa in the summer if he can work it out. He’d like to learn more about the program and beyond.
“I want to find out just how the fans are, how the environment is and will I be welcomed into a great school like this. I’d also like to know how will the change be going from high school to college,” he said.
Goulbourne is taking his time with the recruiting process and trying to figure out a college major. He has time on this side.
“I’m still open and interested in all colleges that have offered me, which I am very fortunate and blessed for, and one’s that haven’t yet,” he said.
Rivals, 247Sports and On3 do not yet show a ranking for Goulbourne.
According to MaxPreps.com, Goulbourne appeared in eight varsity games as a sophomore. He rushed seven times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded 20 tackles (10 solo, 1.0 for loss).