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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Just how does Iowa nab three Washington-area players?

By Josh Barr

So how does Iowa become a player in the recruiting of Washington-area players?

The Hawkeyes signed three local players to National Letters-of-Intent, the same number as the University of Maryland. DeMatha defensive tackle Darian Cooper and defensive back Jordan Lomax signed with Iowa, as did McNamara cornerback Nico Law. Law and Cooper were second-team All-Mets this past season.

That's on top of DeMatha running back Marcus Coker and two players from Gilman School in Baltimore playing their freshman seasons in Iowa City this past fall.

"Iowa has expanded their recruiting base into the D.C. area," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "They can see kids will go away from home and it's worth their investment to get into D.C. In two years, they're made some pretty good headway. Iowa is going to be a school to be reckoned with in the D.C. area. That's a lot of kids to have up there in D.C. area in two years, don't you think?"

The 2009 Washington Post high school football preview cover story was about various colleges making inroads in the Washington area. Iowa was not near the top of the list at the time, but there is little doubt the Hawkeyes have made up ground. For Cooper, in particular, it was the campus visit that swayed his decision.

"I can't speak for everybody, but I know Iowa is an amazing place," Cooper said. "It's a lot slower pace. You feel the genuineness of people out there. When they say, 'Hey, how are you doing?' it's genuine. People aren't afraid to come up to me. In this area, you can get caught up in the hustle and bustle. They say Iowa is the Pittsburgh Steelers of Iowa."

By Josh Barr  | February 2, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Darian Cooper, DeMatha, Football, Iowa, Jordan Lomax, Nico Law  
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Next: National Signing Day 2011: Huntingtown LB Andrew Bose signs with Rhode Island

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