Iowa jumped into the recruiting fray for some of the top Class of 2011 wide receivers. While several have moved on from considering Iowa, one talented Illinois prospect has the Hawkeyes right in the running for his services.
"Every time I've been to Iowa, I've loved it," said Evan Spencer of Vernon Hills. "I love the coaching staff. I love the receivers coach. I love the linebackers coach. I love the defensive coordinator. I love them all.
"I like Iowa a lot. They're definitely going to be up there when it comes down to crunch time. There are other schools up there with them, but they're going to be up there at the end."
Scout.com ranks the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Spencer as a four-star recruit on its five-star scale. He's currently rated as the 19th best receiver nationally in the ‘11 class.
"It's a personal thing with me and my family," Spencer said. "It's not something I want public right now. The first people that will know will be the coaches of those schools. I want to be able to tell them how much I appreciated them recruiting me and thank them."
Spencer led his team in receiving and interceptions and finished second in rushing as a junior. He played alongside DaVaris Daniels, another top wideout in the ‘11 Class.
"DaVaris is one of my best friends, but we're at the point now where we're each trying to find the best schools for us," Spencer said. "We're not planning on going to the same school, but if it happens, it happens. I don't think it's fair to the schools recruiting us to say we're (a package deal) when that's not the case."
Spencer visited Iowa for it's open spring practice at Kinnick Stadium on April 17. He planned to come a week earlier, but phoned Hawkeye Coach Kirk Ferentz to say he couldn't make it. They rescheduled the trip.
"It was awesome to get to see them practice in front of the fans," he said. "I liked seeing how the coaches coached and the players played. I also met up with some of my friends who went to my high school that now go to Iowa and got to see what Iowa City had to offer outside of football. It was great."
Spencer's parents attended Ohio State. His father, Tim Spencer, played for the Buckeyes and then in the NFL and USFL.
Since Evan's recruitment started, it's been written that he'll end up at Ohio State and the recruiting process was a formality. Evan has disagreed with that notion from the beginning and felt like it's scared schools away from pursuing him.
"I understand why I get asked about that in every interview with my parents going there," he said. "But I think it's absolutely ridiculous that some schools aren't recruiting me because they think there's no point. That I'm going to Ohio State.
"To be honest, it's probably best that they don't recruit me because if hearing that from some place else keeps them from recruiting me, that's probably not the right school for me."
While Ohio State isn't a lock for his services, according to Spencer, his roots ran deep enough to tell one school recruiting him, thanks, but no thanks.
"I don't think I could go to Michigan," he said. "I really appreciate and respect them trying to recruit me, but that couldn't happen."
Spencer said that he would be camping at schools this summer that he'll consider attending next year.
"I'm not going to go someplace and try to impress coaches so they give me an offer," he said. "I'll be going to places that have put in the time to recruit me and I'll have a chance to work with those coaches."
Spencer said that Iowa could be one of those stops.
"I think I might come out there and spend a day with the coaches," he said. "I don't know if I'll participate in a camp."
It's all part of the research aspect of recruiting for Spencer.
"I'm aware that the schools are telling me the good things about them," he said. "That means I have to do some investigating on my own. I want to find out what kind of players go there and how stable the coaching staff is. Basically, I'm trying to wade through the B.S."
Spencer said that he's not sitting back and trying to collect more offers. He's doing his homework so he can arrive at the best decision for him.
"Somebody told me the other day that when you marry a girl, you don't keep dating," he said. "This is an important decision. I want to make sure I make the right one."