Southeast Polk 4-star safety Xavier Nwankpa announces final three schools
Southeast Polk four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa announced his final three schools Saturday, keeping Iowa, Ohio State and Notre Dame in the running.
Nwankpa narrowed down the 31 schools that offered him to seven back in May, choosing Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M and Arizona State, in addition to his final three. In the months since, he took official visits to Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Ohio State, as well as multiple unofficial visits to Iowa.
The Hawkeyes have 10 known recruits in the 2022 class and are still searching for their first recruit in the secondary. Notre Dame has 21 recruits, including one safety in Florida three-star product Devin Moore. Ohio State has 14 recruits and one safety in Florida four-star product Kye Stokes.
Nwankpa, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, is the Register's No. 1 in-state 2022 prospect and, according to the 247Sports Composite, the No. 45 prospect and No. 3 safety in the country.
Iowa was the first of Nwankpa's three finalists to offer, way back in October 2019 after Iowa State and Nebraska became his first offers the previous summer. Notre Dame then offered in November 2019, and Ohio State offered in September 2020.
Ohio State was seen as the early frontrunner once Nwankpa started narrowing down his schools. Then, Notre Dame emerged as perhaps the favorite among industry insiders. Now, the Hawkeyes are generating a lot of momentum with their top-five ranking and start to the season, which has been spearheaded by an excellent secondary.
The Hawkeyes will also likely get Nwankpa's final official visit, as he's slated to take his official trip to Iowa City the weekend of the Penn State game (Oct. 8-10).
Nwanka has missed most of Southeast Polk's 5-1 start to the season with a sprained ankle, but he has still recorded seven tackles, a sack, two interceptions and 13 catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
Alyssa Hertel is a college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.