On stage in an auditorium full of his classmates, teachers and coaches, Chicago Simeon linebacker Reggie Spearman announced he would be playing his college football at Syracuse and put on the orange and Navy hat.
Not so fast.
With a smile on his face, Spearman tossed the 'Cuse hat aside and donned an Iowa hat. His confused head coach Dante Culbreath asked him where he was really going.
"I'm an Iowa Hawkeye," Spearman said.
Once committed to Indiana, then Illinois, the 6'2, 220-lb prospect has now found the right "I" school in the Big Ten.
"I feel like Iowa's the best fit," he said. "I really like the coaching staff, Coach Ferentz, and Coach Woods the linebacker coach. And I got a good feel for the place when I went down on both visits. I like the staff and like the direction they're taking the program in."
Following his commitment, a highlight video played with Spearman rushing the passer, dropping into coverage and stopping the run. That versatility gives the Hawkeyes some options.
"I can play all three linebacker spots. Coach Woods told me he thinks they try me at WILL, but I'll move around, see how it works, but it's between WILL and SAM."
The chance to play early may be there, but that is not important to Spearman.
"Competing for a spot is fine, but I just want to go there. I chose the school because I like the school and like the place. I want to go there, compete, and if I play early, I'll play. I just want to help the team, make plays, and hopefully win a national championship."
Spearman says he knows several of the Hawkeyes' other Chicago products, namely Maurice Fleming and Jaleel Johnson. His familiarity with them and his relationship with the coaches leads him to call the school a home away from home.
With Signing Day upon him, and the commitment finally behind him, he can focus on his black and gold future, and he has a simple message for Hawkeye fans wondering what they will get from Reggie Spearman for four years.
"Expect the unexpected."
After his hat trick, who can doubt him?