ISU gains verbal commitment from Texas JUCO Tristan Nickelson


 Tristan Nickelson first met his soon-to-be best friend on a basketball court in League City, Texas.

 That’s when Iowa State freshman offensive lineman Cole Anderson came into his life — and late Monday, the 6-8 1/2-300-pound Nickelson announced they’ll join again under very different competitive circumstances.

 "He’s just been telling me great things about the program since day one," said Nickelson, who Monday announced his commitment to the Cyclones’ football program. "It seemed like a no-brainer at this point."

 Nickelson will be a mid-year transfer, which means he’ll have four years to play three in terms of eligibility.

 The two-star recruit, according to, also drew interest from Arizona State, Auburn and Texas, among others.

 "But I was just really feeling the love from Iowa State and I’d gotten to talk with all of the coaching staff a lot and it just seemed like that was the right fit for me and that they wanted me there as much as I wanted to be there," Nickelson said. "It just worked out real well.”

 Nickelson will be taking his official visit Nov. 22, when Texas Tech rolls into town.

 He said Anderson has already led him on virtual tours, though, and what he’s seen in terms of facilities and support helped make his decision relatively easy.

 "Cole has sent me a bunch of video tours of the facilities so I’ve gotten to see everything and it’s awesome," Nickelson said. "It’s rivaled by nobody that I’ve seen.”

 Nickelson also said this season’s 2-6 record to this point didn’t give him pause.

 "I know they’re on the up," he said.



Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.