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In-State Athlete Xavier Nwankpa Recaps Iowa Visit

October 31, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

When it comes to offering scholarships, Iowa is particular. The Hawkeyes hand out very few opportunities compared to other Power 5 programs around the country.

That tells you about Xavier Nwankpa’s talent. The sophomore from Pleasant Hill (IA) Southeast Polk High already boasts an Iowa offer. Other than Hawkeye verbal pledge Aaron Graves, a lineman from Gowrie (IA) Southeast Valley, he’s in the only in-state, ’22 prospect that can make that claim.

“When they offered me, it meant a lot,” Nwankpa told HN. “It’s another school that saw potential in me, and it boosted my confidence. It makes me continue to strive to get better.”

The Hawkeyes are recruiting Nwankpa (6-2, 180) as a defensive back, but he’s athletic enough to play other positions. He has 45.5 tackles and two pick-sixes this season to go with 32 rushes for 192 yards and two scores, a 21-yard reception, seven punt returns for 155 yards and a 14-yard kick return.

Nwankpa picked up his Hawkeye offer when he visited campus for the Penn State game earlier this month. The school’s verbal commitments in the current class joined him.

“I liked talking to and meeting some of the 2020 recruits. I liked the atmosphere and the culture there,” he said.

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Iowa assistants Jay Niemann and Tyler Barnes spent time getting to know Nwankpa, who hit it off with the coaches.

“They were enjoyable. We talked about the atmosphere, and my team’s previous games. We talked about how we are preparing for the playoffs,” Nwankpa said.

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Southeast Polk (7-2) plays host to Ankeny (6-3) in the first round of the Class 4A State Playoffs Friday night.

Nwankpa, who is undecided about his college major, also reports scholarship offers from Iowa State and Nebraska. He’s taking his time with the recruiting process.

“I’m focused on my academics, so a school with good academics would be a plus. I’m also looking for a good-cultured football team with a goal to get better,” he said.

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Here’s a look at Nwankpa’s regular-season highlights:

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