Iowa Football Involved with Hidden Gem Aaron Smith

October 10, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

The state of Iowa’s 2021 football recruiting class is loaded. Seventeen prospects are committed to Power 5 programs and at least one more, Davenport Assumption lineman Tyler Maro, will be when he decides on a school.

With that being the case, it makes sense that other athletes might get lost in the volume of talent. Waukee’s Aaron Smith would be garnering more interest during a “normal” year in the state. And a recruiting dead period stretching back to March and running through the end of December isn’t helping his cause.

Be that as it may, Smith (5-11, 170) has displayed dynamic ability on the field as a receiver, defensive back and return man. The speedster scored two touchdowns, including a 42-yard reception, in a 38-17 victory against second-ranked and previously unbeaten Urbandale Friday night.

Smith stresses an opponent throughout a game, all over the field. On offense, he has 17 receptions for 419 yards (24.6 YPC) and seven touchdowns while also carrying the ball 15 times for 266 yards (17.7 YPC) and four scores. On defense, he has 15 solo tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a Pick-6. On special teams, he has six kick returns for 176 yards (29.3 YPR), including a 91-yard sprint to the end zone.

Most of the Ivy League schools, including Yale and Harvard, have offered Smith an opportunity. So have Air Force, Army and Navy along with some top FCS programs. The Iowa Hawkeyes have shown steady interest.

“In terms of what Iowa is telling me is that I’m still in contention for an offer and that they are very much interested. They wouldn’t have put me on a call with (head coach Kirk) Ferentz and remained in contact if they weren’t,” Smith told HN.

Other Power 5 schools are involved.

“I’m hearing from Nebraska, Kansas State, Wyoming, Eastern Michigan, Mizzou and Iowa State,” Smith said.

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Virtual recruiting is handcuffing prospects and college coaches. Without in-person meetings and scouting, and campus visits, part of the connection is lost.

“I would say the dead period has hurt me in not being able to get places, not being seen by coaches and not getting to see facilities, campuses and meeting coaches. Over the phone is way different than if I was talking face to face,” Smith said.

He has visited Iowa on two occasions. He attended a game last season and stopped back in early March before the pandemic took hold.

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“I have mostly talked with (Jay) Niemann and (Tyler) Barnes, and I like both coaches. Both are very up front and straight forward, which is what I like in a coach; someone who is going to tell me straight up what is going on and how it is,” Smith said.

The Hawkeye staff is considering him at multiple spots.

“I was told there was a possibility of three options for positions – receiver, defensive back and being labeled as an athlete and putting me where they see fit,” he said.

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Interest from some of the country’s top academic institutions shows that Smith’s decision will come down to more than just football.

“I want to study Business and Accounting in college,” he said.

Here’s a look at Smith’s midseason highlights from this Fall:

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