Sunday, February 3, 2013
Newark, N.J., athlete at home in Midwest
By Jared Shanker
Living in Newark, N.J., those closest to Weequahic athlete Akrum Wadley felt the New Jersey native should just stick with Temple.
Going out and spending the next four years in Iowa City would just be too much of a culture shock, Wadley heard.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete wanted to see Iowa for himself, though. So he visited Iowa on an official visit this weekend, and he was so impressed with what he saw he committed.
“Everyone was saying it’s too country, I won’t like it. They wanted me to stay home,” Wadley said. “When I came it felt like home because I grew up in South Jersey, and it reminds me a lot of South Jersey.”
Wadley first heard from Iowa just after his senior season ended, but the interest did not pick up again until Darrell Wilson came back into his high school about two or three weeks ago. Wadley was left in the dark as to where he stood with the Hawkeyes until just this week. Even though it was only two weeks between conversations with Iowa he said “it felt like five years.”
One of New Jersey’s top running backs and the Newark Star Ledger’s county player of the year, Wadley could play a multitude of positions for the Hawkeyes. The staff is looking at him as a cornerback, running back and slot receiver.
It has been a whirlwind two weeks for Wadley, who had very little FBS interest before Jan. 21. Now, he will be playing in the Big Ten.
“I feel like I owe it to my mother, coaches and my family,” he said. “I’m going to stay hungry. I’m doing 500 push-ups and 500 sit-ups every night. I’m going hard.”