Michael Malloy chose Iowa because he felt comfortable with the people there. One of those people is his big brother, Alex Malloy, an incoming freshman.
"We talked about getting a car to share and living together in an apartment by my second year there," Malloy said. "That kind of influenced it a little bit. I definitely made my decision mostly on the people and the players and the atmosphere."
As a Division I athlete, the younger Malloy will be spending more time with people in the program than he will with Alex. His experience will go well beyond the family ties.
The first thing Malloy did when he arrived for his unofficial visit on Monday morning was meet with Iowa players. He came to town leaning towards verbally committing. Keenan Davis, James Vandenberg and Jason White sealed the deal.
"I asked them a lot of questions," Malloy said. "I asked them how the life was and how every day goes. They really sold me.
"They said a lot of good things on how they felt about their coaches and how they felt about each other. That really made me feel secure."
After meeting with the players, Malloy sat in head coach Kirk Ferentz's office.
"About halfway through the meeting there was kind of like a silent moment and I told him I was committing," Malloy said. "He kept repeating that he was very excited, very happy that I had made this decision."
In addition to feeling comfortable with the players, Malloy wanted to get approval from his parents, who joined him on the visit to ask their questions.
"Mostly the people that I was going to be around; that had them sold too," Malloy said. "We had a good relationships with everybody we met (Monday)."
Malloy was hand timed running a 4.41-second, 40-yard dash before last season. He rumbled for 1,668 yards and 31 touchdowns (29 rushing) as a junior and also played outside linebacker. Fourteen of his touchdowns came in the playoffs.
When Iowa offered Malloy a scholarship last month, he felt he would wait to commit sometime during or after his senior season. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted to get it out of the way before the school embarks on its quest to win a state title. He and his teammates lost to Solon in last season's Class 3A championship game.
"Now that I have it out of the way, I don't have to worry about trying to impress coaches when I'm out on the field," Malloy said. "I can spend all of my time and energy and motivation helping my current teammates, which is the most important thing to me right now."
When Malloy camped at Iowa this summer, running backs coach Lester Erb was campaigning to get the athlete to carry the ball. Wide receivers coach Erik Campbell was doing the same thing. That still hasn't been resolved.
"They said they would figure that out when I get there," Malloy said. "When I was talking to Coach Erb, he said it will come down to whatever gets me on the field faster.
"I played running back all my life, so I definitely prefer that. But wide receiver isn't far behind. In my high school, I do a lot of stuff from the slot and I run routes all the time so I'm used to that, too. It wouldn't be that much of a difference."
Malloy won this year's state title in the 400 meters (48.34 seconds). He's heard some people question his speed because he doesn't run the 100 or 200.
"I think I''ll be alright when it comes to speed," Malloy said. "I do a lot of speed work now in my high school. In my opinion, if you watch my tape, I didn't really get caught that often.
"I know everybody is going to be faster in college. But before I worry about speed, I need to worry about my side-to-side movement. That's my main focus to get better."
Malloy became the eighth known verbal commitment in the 2012 Class. He's the first from the state of Iowa.