PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — "For the next three to five years, I'll be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of .."
His words trailed off, but the highly-touted safety recruit Xavier Nwankpa was confident in his donning of the Iowa Hawkeyes black and gold Wednesday at Southeast Polk High School.
Hear more from his commitment ceremony, including why he picked the Hawkeyes and what he and Coach Kirk Ferentz spoke about during an in-home visit on Monday.
Below is a condensed transcript of his live interview with Chris Hassel of CBS Sports HQ.
CBS Sports HQ: Tell us about your decision...
Nwankpa: So what went into my decision was just the coaching staff, the stability of the guys already on the team and the commits because it felt like a brotherhood there and a place where I could see myself succeed.
CBS Sports HQ: When did you finally make that decision that you were going to stay in-state?
Nwankpa: I decided and committed Monday night after my in-home visit
CBS Sports HQ: What did you and Coach Kirk Ferentz talk about?
Nwankpa: We really just congratulated them on their 10-2 season, they had a really good run, they were Big Ten West champs, and it was exciting and something that he wanted me to be a part of. And that's just when I told him.
CBS Sports HQ: How big of a factor did the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Award play into your decision to go to Iowa?
Nwankpa: That was a pretty big factor, like five of the last 10 ... Big Ten [Defensive Backs] of the Year and coming from Iowa, like, being my home state. Like that's just crazy, like obviously doesn't happen anyways and credit to Coach Parker for getting those guys right ... that's just where I wanted to be.
CBS Sports HQ: Why did you think it was in your best interest to stay in your home state?
Nwankpa: They have some of the best DB production in the country, it's a chance to do something that hasn't been done yet. So I just wanted to go make something happen.
CBS Sports HQ: How much did name-image-likeness play into this?
Nwankpa: It didn't really play a big role because I'm really going to school just to play football and get my degree, so that's my main focus.
CBS Sports HQ: Is this the first time you've ever seen your dad in a Hawkeye shirt?
Nwankpa: That's pretty cool. Like he ran track Iowa State. He's an Iowa State alum. But now I'm gonna make him make the switch.
WATCH | 'Friday Night Blitz' Player of the Week: Xavier Nwankpa, Southeast Polk (Oct. 8, 2021)