Kansas City (MO) Wide Receiver Park Hill Dayton Howard committed in Iowa on Thursday.
Howard becomes Hawkeye’s 20th recruit class member.
At the start of his senior season, Howard had no scholarship offers. After transferring from Savannah, Missouri, where he spent his first three years, he had 45 receptions for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns at Park Hill as a senior, which caught the attention of colleges, including Iowa.
The Hawks invited him to campus in early November and made him their first offer.
He has an official visit to Iowa scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 9, but sees no reason to wait until then to make a commitment.
“When I first visited Iowa, I really felt at home,” Howard said. “When it comes to the fans, the venues, the coaching staff and the city in general, this is perfect for me. I was on the radar all season and they were the first to pull the trigger and offer. What made me choose was that they went all in on me the first week they found out who I was, which shows that they care about me. All these other schools knew about me for a long time and didn’t offer me. But that’s okay because all I need is one opportunity to take my talents to the next level, and that’s what happened in Iowa.”
247Sports lists Howard as the 21st senior player in Missouri and is ranked 87. He now joins Jarriett Buie as a wide receiver in the Iowa class.
Exactly how it will be used remains to be determined, but that doesn’t bother Howard.
“Honestly, we didn’t discuss it much,” he said. “Basically they just said they see a lot in me and can use me. I will play anywhere to help the team win. That’s all I care about.”
Other recruits who graduate without offers should look to Howard as an example of what can happen.
“Getting out of a 3A school in a small town, I knew it would be difficult, but my father always told me that if I worked hard enough, they would give me anything. And that’s what I did,” Howard said. “Every single day of the year I trained knowing what I was capable of. I was never disappointed because I knew what I was capable of, it was just the opportunities that I had.”
He added: “I was always doubted, especially when I announced that I was moving to Park Hill. My old head coach told me that I would achieve nothing at my new school and I would not get anything.” game time. This spurred me on to work even harder. Then I earned a starting spot on the football team. All season I didn’t take anything for granted, I made every game count, doing the best I could. I didn’t have a single offer after the last game of the season. I asked myself if I had done enough because I wasn’t being looked at, then Iowa texted me out of the blue and then they gave me a chance.”
Scholarship renewed and commitment made, Howard still plans to keep working the same as before to achieve this. Except right now he’s working on being ready to contribute to Hawkeye’s victories.
“My plan for the off-season is obviously to work hard and mentally prepare for Big Ten football. I play basketball and baseball, but I will still practice on the soccer field as much as possible,” he said.
The Iowa class is currently ranked 26th in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.