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Top QB recruit visits Hawkeyes

[ 0 ] June 12, 2013 |

One of the top high school dual-threat quarterbacks in the country was in Iowa City on Wednesday to get a closer look at the Iowa football program.

The father of four-star prospect Rafe Peavey said Wednesday afternoon in a telephone interview that his son wants to get better acquainted with the Iowa coaches and with the entire program before making a final decision.

“It’s the biggest decision of his life,” Jack Peavey said of son’s recruitment. “He has goals and aspirations and he knows how he wants to get coached and taught.

“And he wants to make sure that what he is doing is best for his future beyond today and the next four years.”

Rafe Peavey had been verbally committed to Arkansas since May 2012, but he decided to explore other options after Bret Bielema replaced John L. Smith as the head coach at Arkansas shortly after last season.

Iowa became one of those options for a number of reasons, including the respect Peavey and his father have for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and for offensive coordinator Greg Davis. Iowa also was one of the first schools to visit Rafe Peavey when he was a sophomore.

“There is not a head coach in the whole country that has done a better job of recruiting my son than Kirk Ferentz,” Jack Peavey said. “And I’ve never heard a man in the college football profession say a bad word about Greg Davis.”

In addition to Iowa and Arkansas, Rafe Peavey also is considering Missouri and Ohio State, according to his father. He visited Missouri on Tuesday and will visit Ohio State Friday before making a decision.

Jack Peavey said some schools on the West Coast, including USC, UCLA and Arizona, are trying to convince his son to visit before making a decision. However, Jack Peavey said it’s unlikely that his son would expand his list beyond the four aforementioned schools.

“He’s pretty happy and we’re pretty happy with what he’s got going right now,” Jack Peavey said.

Rafe Peavey just finished his junior year at Bolivar High School in Bolivar, Mo. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is ranked as the second-best recruit in Missouri for the class of 2014 by Rivals.com and as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country.

Jack Peavey said he admires Ferentz and the job he’s s done in 14 seasons as the Iowa coach. Jack also has a friendship with Davis that dates back to when they both coached at Arkansas in the early 1990s. Davis was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 1992 and 1993, while Jack served as a graduate assistant.

“Greg Davis has impeccable character,” Jack Peavey said. “He’s just a really good man.

“And Rafe got a chance to meet coach Ferentz and that was a great visit we had. Rafe wanted to make sure before this thing is over that Iowa gets a good look.”

Ferentz, the dean of Big Ten coaches, has led Iowa to bowl-eligible status in 11 of the past 12 seasons. The one exception was last season, when the Hawkeyes finished 4-8 with Davis in his first year as offensive coordinator.

“What’s impressed him through this whole process is the unwavering commitment of coach Ferentz and coach Davis,” Jack Peavey said. “Coach Ferentz has longevity in his position, which is important to Rafe. He’s established the program and built a winner. I know they took a dip last year, but the longevity of that program and the consistency is important to Rafe.”

This marks the second time that Rafe Peavey has visited Iowa City in an unofficial capacity. He also visited in late March when the weather left much to be desired.

“I think Iowa surprised Rafe when he visited there,” Jack Peavey said. “It was still cold out and it wasn’t the most beautiful scenery. We drove through snow as a matter of fact, and when he got to Iowa I think he was really surprised (with how much he liked it). He had no idea what it would look like.”

Jack Peavey said his son’s decision will be based on relationships more than anything else. The younger Peavey has been building relationships with members of all four coaching staffs since the change occurred at Arkansas.

“It’s about the guy that’s going to coach him and hopefully get him to where he thinks he can go,” said Jack Peavey. “That’s really what he is looking for. Who does he trust because the plight of a quarterback is not an easy one? There is a tremendous learning curve, so somebody is going to have to bear with his learning and still develop him and make him great.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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