John Raymon and his father Jack Finney left their home in New Town, Pa., 6 a.m. on Monday morning. Their long trip to Iowa City ended at 3 a.m. the next day.
It was worth it for all parties.
Wednesday Raymon committed to play football at the University of Iowa. The 6-5, 245-pound defensive end prospect picked Iowa over North Carolina State and West Virginia. He also had scholarship offers from Purdue, Illinois, Maryland and Temple.
“He’s very fast and he’s got a wingspan of 6-10 or 6-11,” said Finney, who adopted Raymon seven years ago as a ward of the state. “He’s very fast and very athletic.”
Raymon is Iowa’s seventh recruit for the 2011 class. He was the second of three to commit to the Hawkeyes on Wednesday, joining Ohio tight end Ray Hamilton and another recruit, whose identity is unknown at this point.
The three things that tilted Raymon’s recruiting in Iowa’s favor Finney said were a Big Ten education, the possibility of playing in a national title game at Iowa and the stability on the coaching staff.
Raymon and Finney spent about four and a half hours getting to know Iowa’s coaching staff.
“To me, what Iowa did was very smart,” Finney said. “They waited, but then when they made the offer to John, the head coach (Kirk Ferentz) was very involved. You don’t get that (everywhere). We met a lot of head coaches, but it wasn’t like they were taking an active line of communications with him as (Ferentz) did.
“Truthfully, for an 18-year-old kid that makes you feel really wanted. That might speak to the guy’s success.”
Links -- A stress fracture in a foot kept Raymon out of a lot of Council Rock North's football season, according to this post from the Bucks County Courier Times. "If I do the drills that I'm supposed to do, it should be fine," Raymon said. "I don't worry about it one bit. It feels fine."
Three most interesting bio items -- 1) Played in just three games as a senior due to injury, recording 28 tackles... returned to action in final two games of the season, recording eight tackle on defense and eight pancake blocks on offense in final game. 2) Recorded 59 tackles as a junior, including four sacks, and collected eight pass breakups. 3) Named to prep recruiting guru Tom Lemming's Prep Football All-American team as a senior.
Ferentz on -- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was asked how Iowa found Raymon. He credited assistants Darrell Wilson and Rick Kaczenski.
"Credit goes to Darryl and I believe Rick was out there somewhere in April/May, that spring recruiting period," Ferentz said. "And you know, we were just really enthused and more importantly, it's what drew him to us. I'm still a little perplexed by that because he had a strong enthusiasm for our program through the spring recruiting and came out in June. And he's pretty much set on the program, so we are awfully happy that he is."
Projection is fun -- Raymon won't have to put much lead in the can to play defensive end on the Big Ten level. Maybe 25 pounds?
Totally intriguing prospect. The high side might be a 6-5 Broderick Binns. I don't know, though, if Raymon has Binns' wingspan.
Raymon is a D-end and a likely redshirt. The D-line will be relatively new next season, but it's also a position that almost demands a redshirt weightroom season.