Iowa doesn’t routinely beat out Big Ten foes Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State for recruits. But that’s what it will have to do if it wants to secure a commitment from Makari Paige. And it has a shot.

The Class of 2020 prospect from West Bloomfield (MI) High visited the Hawkeyes in April. He connected with the program and its culture.

“I like the way the coaches keep it real with you. They’re not going to sugar coat anything, and that stood out to me,” he told HN.

Rivals and 247 rank Paige (6-3, 190) as a four-star prospect. Both put him among the Top 10 safeties nationally in the ’20 class and as a Top 4 player in his state.

While, he grew up cheering for Miami (FL) and home-state Michigan, he’s open-minded about which school he’ll attend. Iowa certainly is in the mix.

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“I like how they have the children’s hospital and they show lots of love to the patients. That shows their character. And, they produce Jim Thorpe winners,” Paige said.

Detroit’s Desmond King won the award back in ’15. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers in last year’s draft and enjoyed a strong rookie season.

The Hawkeyes and other suitors will have their work cut out for them in pursuing Paige. He’s not in any hurry to end his prospecting process.

“I’m not really focused on the recruitment part or offers. I’m just preparing for the season,” he said.

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A mellow approach works for Hawkeye junior.

Here’s a look at Paige’s sophomore highlights: