There was nothing conventional about the recruitment of Chicago Simeon linebacker Reggie Spearman, but the three-star linebacker ultimately did come to a final verdict the night before National Signing Day, declaring he will be an Iowa Hawkeye.
"I chose Iowa because we are going to win a national championship," Spearman said.
Spearman chose the Hawkeyes over his other finalists Illinois and Syracuse. He had been committed to the Illini since the summer, but an official visit to Iowa City in November and an unofficial visit just two weekends ago convinced Spearman he wanted to be a Hawkeye.
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During his frequent trips to Iowa City, Spearman became close with several of the Hawkeye's class of 2013 commits, including linebacker John Kenny, offensive lineman Colin Goebel and safety Malik Rucker.
"It will be nice getting around those guys again," Spearman said. "Down at the school it is just a big family and I feel like they are ready to win. I feel that I can't go wrong with that program at this point."
Although Spearman had been committed to Illinois, it was Syracuse that gave Iowa the biggest challenge in the final week of his recruitment. Scott Shafer's staff offered the three-star linebacker and his teammate, Kendall Moore, in mid-January and both prospects took an official visit with the Orange on the final week of the process.
Playing with his high school teammate held strong appeal for Spearman, and Syracuse provided that opportunity. In the end, though, the relationship Spearman had with the other Iowa commits and his excitement over the future of the Hawkeye's program won out.
In Spearman, Iowa adds an athletic linebacker to their front seven. The 6-foot-2, 219-pounder has shown the ability to rush the passer and play in pass coverage throughout his high school career and at several off-season camps and combines. He is ranked as the No. 31 outside linebacker nationally and the No. 15 prospect in the state of Illinois for the 2013 class.