Patience paid off for Nico Ragaini.
The record-setting receiver from Connecticut received the scholarship offer he had been waiting for from Iowa on Sunday and by next week, he will begin participating in the Hawkeyes’ offseason workouts.
“Things worked out,’’ Ragaini said. “Iowa is where I wanted to be and fortunately, I was given the opportunity to make that happen this week and I’m going to be a Hawkeye.’’
The 6-foot, 185-pound receiver caught the attention of Iowa quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe last spring as he recruited at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Conn.
By then, Ragaini had made plans to attend Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut for the fall semester but O’Keefe offered the state’s all-time receptions leader a chance to attend camp at Iowa last June and promised to watch his progress over the fall season at the prep school level.
“I came back from the camp liking everything about the program, the coaches, the facilities, the campus,’’ Ragaini said. “Coach O’Keefe kept in touch, told me to be patient and in the end it worked out. It all happened pretty fast.’’
Ragaini accepted Iowa’s offer over one from Boston College and an opportunity to compete at Yale.
He plans to arrive in Iowa City later this week and will enroll for spring semester classes which begin next Tuesday.
Ragaini was the leading receiver on an 8-1 team at Avon Old Farms last fall that played in the championship bowl featuring the top two teams in New England’s prep schools.
His work followed a record-setting career as a four-year starter at West Haven Notre Dame, where the three-time first-team all-state selection also thrived as an all-state attacker in lacrosse and was named by the New Haven Register as its 2017 high school athlete of the year.
Ragaini caught 58 passes for 989 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Notre Dame, completing his high school career with a Connecticut state-record 222 receptions. His 3,345 career receiving yards are second only to Aaron Hernandez in the state’s history.
He is the fourth wide receiver to become part of Iowa’s 2018 recruiting class, joining Samson Evans of Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Calvin Lockett of Largo, Florida, and Tyrone Tracy of Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis.
The Hawkeyes are now at 20 players in a recruiting class which coach Kirk Ferentz estimated will be at 20-22 players by Feb. 7, the start of the next signing period for prep football players.