Tevaun Smith was tucked away in Toronto, far from the eyes of many scouts. The wide receiver knew he could play college football. He just needed to be seen.
Smith packed his bags last summer and headed to Connecticut. He enrolled at the Kent School as a post-graduate and began showcasing his talent.
On Thursday night, the fleet-footed pass catcher realized his dream by verbally committing to the University of Iowa. Smith chose the Hawkeyes ahead of Connecticut and Temple.
"I feel good about it," Smith said of his hard work paying off. "Once I left for prep school, I was kind of taking a chance. Once I actually did that, I didn't look back.
"That was the main thing. I just continued to work hard and tried to hope for the best. it ended up working out for me."
Iowa began recruiting Smith midway through his football season. He officially visited Iowa City last weekend and received a scholarship offer.
"I was really impressed with it," Smith said. "I didn't' want to commit right away because it was a fresh visit. I wanted to take a couple of days and really think about it and speak with my parents to see what they thought about it.
"I spoke with a couple of my coaches and a couple of friends, they were helping me out on the pros and cons. Once I got that out of the way, I decided that Iowa was the place for me."
One thing about Iowa stood out to Smith above everything else in making the decision.
"I would say it was the relationship I have with the coaches," the 6-foot, 170-pounder said. "They're really more than coaches. They're friends that you can talk to about more than just football."
Smith's good friend from Toronto, Akeel Lynch, also holds an Iowa offer. The '12 Buffalo, NY running back is wearing a Hawkeye sweatshirt in his Facebook profile picture.
"I think there' s a chance that we play together," Smith said. "I hope we do. But it's an individual decision for him. He has to do what's right for him."
Smith is considering a sports management major. He feels comfortable with the academics at Iowa.
"There's just a great support system there with all of the academic advisors," he said. "I felt that the emphasis put on academics is a great thing."
It's uncertain how Iowa will use Smith in its offense. He could be a slot receiver or spend time on the outside.
"I feel like wherever they put me, I'll be able to produce," Smith said. "They said with my athletic ability, if I can learn the playbook fast, they'll be able to move me around and do whatever they can to get me the ball."
Smith plans to be in Iowa for summer workouts.