Growing up in Northern California, Spencer Petras’ knowledge of Iowa came from what he gathered from afar. It turned out that mental picture drawn in his mind differed from the real thing.

The Greenbrae (CA) Marin Catholic signal caller officially visited Iowa Sunday and Monday. It opened his eyes to the possibilities.

“Primarily, I loved Iowa City. It’s a great place. It was much bigger than I expected. It really surpassed my expectations,” Petras told HN. “Additionally, it was great to meet coach (Kirk) Ferentz and the rest of the staff in person. I had met coach (Ken) O’Keefe before. Also, meeting the players and feeling the atmosphere there was awesome.”

Petras told HN this late Monday night when he returned home. Tuesday morning, he was quoted in the Portland Tribune saying: “My visit to Iowa was good. It was really quick. I enjoyed Iowa City and everyone there. But I’m sticking with Oregon State.”

Petras committed to the Beavers in May. They have since switched coaches.

HN tried to contact Petras (6-5, 210) throughout Tuesday for some clarity and he did not respond. He told Blair Sanderson of Rivals.com: “I’m still praying and deciding.”

If the door remains open, Iowa likely will continue its pursuit. It’s trying hard to sign a quarterback in the ’18 class.

The Hawkeyes impressed Petras during his visit, which probably is making deciding hard. He played in a playoff game Saturday night, which meant he wasn’t part of the large contingent of prospects, many of them commitments, that officially visited Friday through early Sunday.

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“I didn’t have a host just because of the timing,” Petras said. “I decided to go sleep Sunday night because I didn’t get much sleep the night before.”

Petras did speak with starting quarterback Nate Stanley, tight end Noah Fant, and receiver Nick Easley.

“They were all part of the player panel that answered me and my family’s questions, which was awesome. All three of them seemed like great guys. It was awesome to just meet guys because those would be my teammates if I decided to go there. I got to meet (incoming recruit) Dillon Doyle. That was fun,” he said.

Petras and his parents asked non-football questions of the panel. They centered on time management and the requirements of the student-athlete at Iowa.

“They liked it,” Petras said of his parents. “They loved the coaches. They really enjoyed the city and the school as well.”

The Iowa coaches shared a vision with Petras

“They’re really pleased with Nate and how he’s played. At the same time, they always want to keep getting the best quarterbacks they can in that room. They just felt that I was a good fit in the program and the offense,” Petras saud.

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“Nate obviously had a great year. It would be a situation where I would come in and compete but most likely have a chance to red shirt and learn. Then when Nate decides to move on, compete for the starting spot. At the same time. I’m going in to compete wherever I go.”

Petras said he will be signing during the early period (Dec. 20-22). He said it would be a tough decision between Iowa and Oregon State.

“I enjoyed my visit and right now signing day is kind of approaching and I’m praying on everything and seeing what’s in store. I’m still figuring it out just because I’ve been focused on my season that just ended. I thought I might be still going this week. Now, I can sit down and look closer at things,” he said.

Petras enjoyed a big senior year, completing 199 of 313 passes (63.6%) for 4,157 yards and 50 touchdowns against just two interceptions. Rivals recently raised him from a three to four-star.