Gavin Smith is coming back home to finish college. After graduating high school from Iowa City West in 2009, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback has played football at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge the last two years. This season, Smith will be suiting up for the hometown Hawkeyes as he will be joining the program as a walk-on this summer.
"Since I was little, I always wanted to play for Iowa," said Smith. "So when they offered me the opportunity to play there, it was an easy decision. I felt like if I went somewhere else, I would always regret not playing at Iowa."
As a sophomore, Smith had 50 tackles and five interceptions at Iowa Central, earning special mention all-region honors in 2010. After the season was over, he made a recruiting visit to Illinois State and also received some interest from UNI and Iowa State, but his goal was always to play for the Hawkeyes.
"Iowa wasn't recruiting me that much after my season, so I made a highlight tape and sent it to them," Smith said. "My coach at Iowa Central is friends with Coach Morgan at Iowa, so he called him to make sure he watched it. I guess Coach Morgan watched it and liked what he saw, so he had all the other coaches watch it to see what they thought. They all liked it, so decided to offer me as a walk-on."
Smith will be in Iowa City this summer to start classes and work out with the team. He has two years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt year if they decide to use it and plans to make the most of his time in the program.
"I'm excited," said Smith. "I only have two years left to play, so I'm going to work hard and try to get on the field as soon as I can."
Iowa's 2011 walk-ons:
Brendon Boerm - 6-foot-0, 175-pound safety from Traer, IA (North Tama)
Adam Cox - 6-foot-0, 210-pound fullback from Stillman Valley, IL (Stillman Valley)
Marshall Koehn - 6-foot-1, 175-pound kicker from Solon, IA (Solon)
Travis Perry - 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker from Urbandale, IA (Urbandale)
Gavin Smith - 5-foot-10, 175-pound cornerback from Iowa City, IA (Iowa Central Community College)
Mark Weisman - 6-foot-0, 210-pound fullback from Lincolnshire, IL (transfer from Air Force)