One of the stranger rides in the 2012 recruiting class was that of Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville cornerback Sean Draper.
Hailing from a high school program that had sent close to 70 players to the Division 1 level in the previous 10 recruiting classes, the 6-0, 165-pound Draper should have had no problem drawing college interest.
Yet, even after earning first team all-combine honors at the prestigious U.S. Army Junior Combine in January of his junior year, Draper still waited several months for his first college scholarship offer and he did not get his first BCS Conference offer until after his senior season was complete.
Draper's scholarship offer count finally did catch up with his ability, but only just in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day. After taking official visits to Hawaii, Iowa, Louisville and Pittsburgh, Draper narrowed his choices down to Pitt and Iowa in the final hours before his decision before settling on the Hawkeyes Tuesday afternoon.
"Today he narrowed it down to those two," Draper's uncle and coach, Tony Overton, said. "Ultimately it came down to the fact that Sean feels like he is one of the best players in the country and when you feel you are one of the best players in the country you need to play against the best players in the country and play in one of the best conferences in the country."
The final choice was in doubt all the way up until Tuesday afternoon, according to Overton. Draper eliminated Hawaii from consideration earlier in the week, but his final three were extremely close.
"It was really tough for Sean," Overton said. "Just yesterday it was still Louisville, Pitt and Iowa. He really took a liking to Coach [Charlie] Strong and Coach [Larry] Slade at Louisville. He took a liking to Coach [Matt] House and Coach [Dave] Huxtable at Pitt."
In Draper, Iowa is getting a long and rangy defensive back who showed out at several off-season camps and combines before having a standout senior season. Draper was named first team all-combine at the prestigious U.S. Army Junior Combine last year.