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Football

NOTEBOOK: Wally Burnham key in most recent commit

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Will Wally Burnham be Iowa State’s defensive coordinator in 2015?

Paul Rhoads certainty isn’t going to let the veteran go. 

Burnham, who came to Iowa State with Rhoads in 2009, has been working overtime on the recruiting trail since the season ended on Dec. 6 in Fort Worth. Last week, the two Burnham’s (along with his son and defensive tackles coach, Shane) along with Tommy Mangino secured Iowa State’s second defensive tackle commitment in the last week when Bobby Leath pledged his commitment to the Cyclones.

“It just felt like a great fit,” Leath, 290-pounds of Coffeyville Community College told CycloneFanatic.com. “They run the same defense that we do now at Coffeyville. It just felt like a great fit. I’ve known Wally Burnham ever since high school. He also recruited my brother when he was at Florida State. I know him really well. He and my old high school coach are great friends.”

And why wouldn’t a JUCO defensive tackle want to attend Iowa State? After a season in which the Cyclones finished ranked 119th out of 125 D-1 teams against the run, playing time should be plentiful for JUCO defensive linemen in Ames in 2015. 

“How they were talking made it sound like I can be an impact guy,” Leath said. “They had a rough season this year but they were so young. Everybody has to bounce back. I think we’ll be good.”

Iowa State’s staff also pitched that Leathwould be teaming up with Demond Tucker, the nation’s top ranked junior college defensive tackle, who committed to Iowa State early last week.

“They just want us together to cause chaos,” Leath said.

Leath chose Iowa State over an offer from Illinois but other Big Ten teams were starting to close in, along with Kansas State too. Leath will be a February signee and will arrive in Ames this summer.

JOTTINGS

COMMITS: It sounds like Iowa State’s coaching staff spent a lot of the last week visiting current commitments for the 2015 class. All seem to still be solid verbal commits despite the 2-10 2014 season. Expect Tucker and junior college offensive lineman Patrick Scoggins to sign with the Cyclones next week. 

BIG WEEKEND: Look for the weekend of January 16 to be the largest recruiting weekend of the Paul Rhoads era, when anywhere from 12-16 prospects will be in town – most of which are already committed. Iowa State will host Kansas in basketball that Saturday. 

GRAYSHIRT: According to Tommy Birch from the Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Washington wide receiver Landon Akers has verbally committed to Iowa State and will grayshirt next season. 

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