Two words resonated most with elite JUCO defensive tackle Demond Tucker on his official visit to Iowa State last weekend:
“Instant starter,” Tucker, a 6-1, 285-pounder from Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College said.
Those words, of course, were meant to apply to him if he chose to become a Cyclone.
“That was what I really wanted to hear,” said Tucker, who counts red-shirting ISU linebacker Jordan Harris among his best friends. “I talked to my family about it. Right now we’re still talking about it. Hopefully, I may end up there and me and Jordan can play and have fun again.”
Tucker, the 2013 NJCAA defensive player of the year, said he’s narrowed his choices down to ISU and Kansas State.
He’s visited both schools, but said he’s leaning toward the Cyclones.
“In the end, I’m going to probably be there,” Tucker said. “I don’t know right now exactly, but I really like the football program.”
Tucker noted the Bergstrom Football Complex stands as a strong selling point for ISU.
Coach Paul Rhoads’ Cyclones used to lag far behind other Power Five conference schools in facilities, but that’s not the case anymore.
“I was speechless,” Tucker said of the impression his visit struck. “I liked it so much. I could see myself playing there. It’s a great opportunity.”
Tucker totaled 9.5 sacks this season for the Wolfpack and 10 tackles for loss.
He holds offers from numerous other schools including West Virginia, Louisville and Texas A&M.
So what’s his timetable on a decision? There isn’t one.
“I’m still praying on it,” Tucker said.
If that deliberation leads him to become a Cyclone, Tucker said he plans on being “a missing piece” for the defense.
“I’m going to be an impact player,” Tucker said.
He added that he enjoyed the friendliness of everyone in Ames and he felt “at home.”
And as ISU played Texas Tech in a 34-31 loss Saturday, he saw himself on the field, making plays, just as he could in the future if he decides to commit to the Cyclones.
“I really did,” he said. “I can see myself really making some big plays at Iowa State.”