The Iowa coaches were happy to see Ryan Boyle at their first spring practice Wednesday. Things improved even more when the workout ended.
The junior quarterback from West Des Moines Dowling asked to speak with offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
"I told him that I wanted to be a Hawkeye," Boyle said.
Boyle had made up his mind before arriving in Iowa City. He shared the news with his high school coach, Tom Wilson, while he was watching the Hawkeyes practice on Wednesday.
"I was texting with him," Boyle said. "I told him that today was the day. I wanted to be a Hawkeye. He said he was going to support me. He said he was behind my decision."
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Boyle helped the Maroons win the Class 4A state title in November. In the championship game, he completed 12 of 14 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 82 yards on 21 carries and four scores. For the season, he connected on 119 of 187 passes for 1,833 yards and 21 touchdowns against three interceptions this fall. He rushed for 1,332 yards and 24 scores after tearing his ACL during the '12 season.
"It's right there. I'm not much of a pocket guy. From the football seasons that I've had in high school, I use my legs quite a bit to run. In talking to Coach Davis, he said he will use my feet for an advantage. It's not like I'm just going to be a pocket guy. Iowa is a pro-set team and I will run that. I have no problem with that. He said that he's going to use my legs. I'm happy about that so I have no worries," Boyle said.
The Hawkeyes have received three verbal commitments from junior prospects expected to begin their college careers at quarterback. Jack Beneventi and Drew Cook pledged before Boyle. Iowa also has brought in scholarship signal callers in each of the last four recruiting classes.
"Like anywhere, there's always going to be competition at the Division I level at quarterback since it's such an important job. I have no fear of it. I believe in my ability that I can do just as well as them or even better. Going in, I'm going to be a competitor and I'm not trying to be second string. I'm going to try to be the guy. I want to be the guy at Iowa. I'm going to do whatever it takes to be that guy," Boyle said.
Boyle shows a knack for finding the holes when he runs. He's improving his accuracy throwing the ball as the arm strength already is there.
Dowling assistants Craig McClain and Chuck Hartlieb, a former Iowa quarterback, tutor Boyle.
"I have been working on my form and my release. I'm working on my three-step and five steps drops. I'm getting more comfortable with my feet all of the time. Passing is the thing that I'm really working hard on," Boyle said.
In addition to improving his skills, Boyle already has been spending time connecting with other Iowa recruiting targets.
"I've been text messaging and Twitter messaging guys. I talked to Jack Hockaday before and he told me he was going to commit. I didn't get a chance to talk to him Saturday after he committed but I (messaged) him congrats. I've been talking to Alex Ofodile and trying to make him love the Hawkeyes more and more. He really liked his visit (Saturday) so I'll keep working on that," Boyle said.
The Iowa coaches had help in making Boyle feel comfortable at the school. His father earned a master's degree from Iowa. His sister began her education there last year.
"I would say that it affected my decision in that I felt more connected and more at home. I can tell you that before I went to Dowling, my sister did. She kind of paved the way there and made it less stressful and lonely to be there. Now that she's at Iowa, I have another person that can watch out for me," Boyle said.
Ryan Boyle surprised some people this week when he verbally committed to Iowa. The in-state quarterback spent a lot of time on his decision and he talked with Hawkeye Insider about it.