Lake Forest Academy senior defensive end Faith Ekakitie has committed to Iowa.
Ekakitie, who is 6 foot 2 and 280 pounds, chose the Hawkeyes after also considering Boston College, Georgia Tech, Northwestern and Oregon. He is ranked the No. 26 defensive end in the Class of 2012 by ESPN.
"I think Iowa is getting a player with tremendous upside," Lake Forest Academy coach Ted Stewart said. "The kid's still very new to football. He’s only played it for three years. I think he still has a long way to go. I don't think he goes in and starts from Day 1. But if he develops the way I think he's going to, I think he's going to be an elite college player."
Ekakitie transferred to Lake Forest Academy as a sophomore from Canada. He played linebacker his first season and moved to defensive end the past two years.
As a senior, he had 56 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Ekakitie handled his recruitment unlike most high-profile players. He avoided interviews in recent months and also declined an interview through his coach for this story. Instead, he created a blog (faithflex.com) and chronicled his recruiting.
His blog was also how he announced his commitment and broke down his decision. His entry included how he considered Oregon, but had his offer rescinded after the Ducks took another commitment, and how his GPA was "approximately .2" below what Northwestern's admissions required.
"What would be the deciding factor between BC and Iowa?" Ekakitie wrote in his blog. “A Gut feeling. That’s all, not the coaches, players, degrees, or even football. It all really came down to where I truly felt at home. And I'm proud and extremely happy to announce that the gut feeling has led me to continue my career at the University of Iowa."
Stewart admired the way Ekakitie handled the entire recruiting process.
"He did it the way recruiting is supposed to be done," Stewart said. "He was very honest. He was very forthcoming with coaches. I think that's a breath of fresh air in today's recruiting. There are guys who commit somewhere and commit somewhere else the next week. He was 100 percent where he was going."
Ekakitie was the fourth Class of 2012 Chicago-area football player to commit to the Iowa. The Hawkeyes now have a total of 13 players in the class.