The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted pretty much every walk of life. That certainly included college football recruiting.
A dead period that began in March of 2020 prohibited prospects and coaches from speaking face to face. No guided campus tours were permitted.
While those restrictions remain in place until the end of the month, some constraints have been lifted. Recruits, like fans, have been admitted back into some stadiums for Spring football.
Iowa saw them in the stands for its two open practices. The group included Class of 2023 four-star Pleasant Hill (IA) Southeast Polk offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor on Saturday.
He visited the Hawkeye facility during their Holiday Bowl prep back in December of '19. He likely would have attended at least one game in Kinnick Stadium this past Fall in non-pandemic times being as it sits 100 miles away from his home.
Instead, Saturday represented his initial stop inside the historic venue.
"My first time in Kinnick and seeing the inside of the stadium was amazing," Proctor told HN. "I also got to experience it with my mom, trainer, teammates, and their families. It is a stunning stadium to see. I also loved the fan base they had even for just a practice."
Iowa offered the 6-foot-7, 315-pound sophomore a scholarship back in September. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, USC and others also have jumped into the pursuit. He's collected 24 opportunities only halfway through his prep career.
Before his recruitment went national, Iowa began building a relationship with Proctor. He's not forgotten that.
"The Hawkeyes have been with me early. I respect them a lot and love that they are still here for me," he said.
Proctor has drawn comparisons to former Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs, who won a Super Bowl as a rookie with Tampa Bay this winter after earning Big Ten Lineman of the Year honors. Wirfs prepped at Mount Vernon (IA) High.
"We’ve talked to each other. For him to be there for me at a young age going through the process is great. It's very good to hear coming from a player who's where I’m ultimately trying to go," Proctor said.
High school teammate Xavier Nwankpa also has served as a resource for Proctor. They visited Iowa City together on Saturday. Nwankpa included the Hawkeyes among his Top 7 along with Arizona State, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
"I see everything he goes through, and seeing someone going through the same thing is easing. We do a lot of the same things, and it’s a help for me with these interviews and meetups when he’s there. Also, we share a similar position in being Iowa guys with a lot of attention," Proctor said.
Proctor hasn't yet set up any visits for when the dead period ends on June 1. He anticipated checking out Iowa and Iowa State again along with some others who've offered.
Family and friends play an important role in Proctor's life. He sees that translating to what he seeks for the next level.
"Love, loyalty, campus life, food, good coaches and teammates - I want all of them to be a big part of my life and help me get through college and the recruiting process," he said.
Rivals and 247Sports rank Proctor as a four-star prospect. The former pegs him as the No. 6 recruit overall nationally in '23 regardless of position. The latter puts him 20th.