By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa football team already has 10 players committed to its 2018 recruiting class, but a quarterback is not among them.
That could change by the end of the month.
Three-star quarterback Will Levis is looking at three schools in particular - Iowa, Syracuse and Florida State - and hopes to make a decision by the end of July, although, the Middletown, Conn., native isn't ruling out any schools just yet.
"I’m a little more certain on when that decision will be coming," Levis said Saturday. "I think it will be by the end of this month now, so that’s what I’m looking forward to and that’s probably when the decision will be taking place.
"I don’t really have a set list, but I do have a core group of schools that I’m interested in the most. I’d say that those are Iowa, Syracuse and Florida State. No other schools are out of the picture quite yet. I have one more visit I have to take and I’ll be visiting Penn State on the 14th (of July). Then after that, I’ll really start to see where all my options are at and really try to prioritize and make a decision from that point."
The fact that Iowa was the first school from a Power fFive conference to offer Levis a scholarship has stuck out to him throughout the recruiting process.
Kirk Ferentz's long-term success doesn't hurt either. The dean of Big Ten football coaches is entering his 19th season as the Iowa head coach and has a staff with strong connections to the northeast, including new quarterbacks coach Ken O'Keefe, who was born in Milford, Conn., and has coached extensively in the northeast.
O'Keefe was Iowa's offensive coordinator from 1999 to 2011 before leaving to coach receivers for the Miami Dolphins for four seasons..
"Obviously, Iowa, Florida State and Syracuse in terms of location and as a school itself are all pretty different," Levis said. "With Iowa, what stands out the most to me about them is their coaches and their solidarity. I mean, coach Ferentz being there going on 19 years, the longest tenured coach in college football just goes to show just how loyal he is to the program and how he wants it to succeed and how he wants his players to succeed. He wants the best for all of his players and he has a great coaching staff.
"I have a lot of connections with all of them and a lot of ties to my home in Connecticut and New England. Coach (Chris) Doyle, the strength and conditioning coach, is from the Boston area so he knows the area pretty well. Coach O’Keefe is from Connecticut so those are some big things to me. And them being my first Power Five offer really pulled some weight with me as well. So for them to believe in me and stick with me throughout this thing means a lot."
The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Levis also has been in contact with several of Iowa's 2018 commits, including Iowa City West three-star linebacker Dillion Doyle, who is Chris Doyle's son. Dillon Doyle, along with Wisconsin running back Henry Geil and Indianapolis athlete Tyrone Tracy, are trying to convince Levis to joim them at Iowa.
"I have gotten to know a few of them actually," Levis said. "I’ve directed messaged Dillon Doyle, coach Doyle’s son. I’ve direct messaged Henry Geil and Tyrone Tracy. Those are the three that I really talk to and that have tried to sway me and go to Iowa and plead their case as to why Iowa is such a great opportunity. It’s been really great to talk to them and they’ve definitely shown the most interest out of all the schools in wanting me to go there.
"So that’s also just really cool and really something to think about. That’s something I really appreciate from them and whenever I commit somewhere I’m going to be doing that, that’s just a whole other part of the job."
Levis could have jumped at the opportunity from one of the 22 schools that have offered him a scholarship. But much like Ferentz and his staff, Levis stresses loyalty and commitment. He wants to be sure before he picks a school.
"The reason why I wanted to wait on a commitment is because a lot of kids will verbally commit to a school, but continue to look and visit other schools and I don’t really think that’s a commitment if you’re doing that," Levis said. "I didn’t want to make a commitment and then go visit other schools and then if I found one I liked better to de-commit and go somewhere else.
"That’s just not how I work and not how my family works. We want to do everything the right way. I think Penn State is the last school that I’m going to be genuinely interested in that’s worth taking a visit. Once I visit there and just kind of see how that goes and take a few days to compare and contrast everything and then a decision will be made and that’ll be it. It’ll be a done deal."
In addition to Iowa, Syracuse and Florida State, Levis also has Power Five offers from Mississippi and North Carolina.