When Aamil Wagner received a scholarship offer from Iowa last week, it stirred up memories. The four-star offensive lineman from Huber Heights (OH) Wayne High remembered visiting campus to watch his older brother, Ahmad Wagner, play for the Hawkeye basketball team.
Ahmad spent three seasons on the Iowa hoops team before transferring to Kentucky for football. The Hawkeye football coaches attempted to keep him in town but he decided he wanted a fresh start.
“Ahmad hasn’t talked to me much about the football program, in particular, but he has talked a lot about the university and city, and it was all good things,” Aamil told Hawkeye Nation.
Aamil, a junior, started showing up in Iowa City when he was in junior high. He gained an appreciation for the town and school.
“When I did come to visit, it was a great experience. Everyone was so welcoming and it felt like a family,” he said.
The Hawkeyes face stiff competition for the talented blocker. He reports 22 scholarship offers, including opportunities from Arizona State, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
“It meant a lot to get an offer from Iowa. Iowa is a great program with many talented players that have come through there as a linemen. It’s very exciting to see the players they are able to put in the NFL, most recently being Tristan Wirfs,” Aamil said.
Hawkeye assistant Derrick Foster is leading the program’s pursuit of Wagner (6-6, 255). They are connecting.
“We have talked back and forth multiple times on the phone. I think he’s a great guy that’s really invested in getting to know me as a person and a player,” Wagner said.
He hasn’t decided on a major but is leaning towards Sports Management. His choice will be about more than football.
“The most important things for me in choosing a school will be academics, my family and coaches’ opinion along with the culture of the team and if I would fit in,” Wagner said.
It’s been a difficult year for recruits. The COVID-19 pandemic created a dead period that began in March and was scheduled to run until at least Jan. 1. Prospects could not visit campuses or meet face to face with college coaches.
“No school is standing out more than another. I’m keeping my recruiting open and just doing my research into every school and program. I would like to make my decision closer to my senior year, most likely after the season,” Wagner said.
Rivals and 247 rank him as a four-star recruit. The former sees him as the No. 27 offensive tackle nationally in the 2022 Class and the 166th-best player regardless of position. The latter lists him as the No. 9 player at his position and the 83rd player overall.
Here’s a look at Wagner’s junior highlights: