The free safety had to whittle a huge list of Division I colleges before finally deciding to play for Iowa, a task that was made easier because he earlier had to choose where to attend high school.
“I chose St. Edward High School because I went there to shadow in the eighth grade and I loved it,” Warfield said. “So I told my mom this is where I wanted to go to school and this is where I’m at.”
Warfield has excelled for the Eagles and become one of the top defensive back prospects in the nation.
He was born in Lorain, moved to Oberlin when he was 6, then returned to the coastal city before high school.
“It was a family atmosphere, I loved everything about it,” Warfield said of St. Edward. “It’s real competitive … the whole school is competitive. Sports, academics, everything you do there is a competition. So it’s sweet, and I really liked the way they had the football program set up, and that’s what I wanted to go do — play football.”
The choice has paid off.
St. Edward boasts some of the top training facilities in the country. The Eagles travel around the state, and often out of it, to meet some of the nation’s top programs. They won the Division I state championship during Warfield’s sophomore year, another experience that infused confidence in his game.
“It’s been like a dream come true,” he said. “It’s a great advantage, we have everything we need at the school. I don’t know if I’d be doing the same stuff I’m doing now if I was at a different school.”
Warfield attended Ohio State’s camp after his freshman and sophomore seasons, attended the All-American combine in Arizona — he’s hoping to get an invitation to play in the Army All-American game after the season — and received an invitation to The Opening, although he couldn’t go due to injury, after a strong performance at the Nike SPARQ combine.
The 6-foot, 170-pounder ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, benches 270 pounds and squats 330. The Hawkeyes are snatching him up because he’s a tackling machine and knows how to offer run support, but Warfield also plans on playing some offense this season at St. Edward.
The combines, camps and the Eagles’ schedule have prepared him for the rigors of life in the Big Ten.
“It’s pretty sweet because I play against all the guys that I’ll probably see in college,” Warfield said.
“Most of these guys I’m seeing at the camps are all D-I recruits and most of them are playing at a top-level school. So it’s great to play the competition now so that I’ll be more prepared for college.”
Picking that college was not easy.
“I thought picking a high school was tough, this was beyond tough because this was going to affect the rest of my life,” Warfield said. “I had a really great junior year and got my first offer from Bowling Green, and I was like, ‘Oh, man, this is awesome.’ The next thing you know, two months later, I was up to 20 offers. I was like, ‘This is really sweet.’
“There’s not many kids that can say they got 20 offers. I was just glad and excited, and praised God about it because it was awesome.”
A visit to the Iowa City campus was all Warfield needed to wrap up the recruitment process.
“I really had a good vibe when I went there,” he said. “I just loved it, there was nothing bad about it. The coaching staff was very nice to my whole family, the campus is close together and convenient for the students and they are building a new sports complex for the football team.”
Warfield, who plans to major in criminal justice or business administration, will follow fellow Lorain resident Anthony Hitchens, who starred at Clearview. Warfield said he hadn’t talked with Hitchens yet, but planned to. Warfield will join Hitchens, who plays linebacker, on the Hawkeyes’ defense.
But first, he wants to have a great senior year at St. Edward, and is hoping to lead the Eagles to another state title.
“I think that drives any player,” Warfield said. “Just to be able to win and be able to put a ring on your finger and say you were part of something great … it’s pretty awesome.”