RECRUITING: Catching you up on the class of ’17 so far

It isn’t any secret that the first recruiting class assembled by Matt Campbell and his staff at Iowa State ranks on paper as one of the best in school history. After securing the No. 53 class in the country (according to 247) despite only having a few months to put it together, the question then became how Campbell’s crew would follow it up in 2017.

The first few months of that process have been fruitful as the Cyclones have secured four commitments, three of which hail from Iowa, and currently have the No. 41 class in the nation with 10 months left until National Signing Day.

The ball got rolling with the 2017 class while the staff was still just getting their start on 2016. Waterloo, West quarterback Devon Moore was one of the first players to commit to Iowa State after Campbell’s arrival when he made his pledge on Nov. 11, 2015.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 210 pound lefty is rated as the eleventh best prospect in the state by 247 and the No. 23 dual-threat quarterback nationally. lists the consensus three-star as the No. 2 quarterback in Iowa and No. 9 in the Midwest.

Another Iowa prospect was the second piece of the puzzle to come into place when Cedar Rapids, Washington outside linebacker O’Rien Vance committed on Feb. 15. The three-star prospect is the sixth best player in Iowa according to 247.

Scout lists him as the best outside linebacker in the state and No. 4 in the Midwest. At 6-foot-3-inches, 210 pounds, Vance has the frame and potential to be a very solid pass rusher at the next level.

The ball really got rolling for Campbell and his staff early last week when they picked up their first of two commitments in five days. Three-star Arkansas wide receiver Joshua Johnson tweeted his commitment to Iowa State last Monday just hours after announcing he was decommitting from Indiana.

Johnson, 5-foot-11-inches, 170 pounds, is the sixth best prospect Arkansas according to 247 and the No. 126 wide receiver in the nation. He held offers from Notre Dame, Kansas State, Kansas and a handful of others before committing to the Cyclones.

Ames offensive tackle Colin Newell is the most recent addition to the class after he made his commitment official last Saturday while on an unofficial visit. He is the sixth best player in Iowa according to 247, and the No. 16 offensive tackle in the Midwest according to Scout.

Newell moves well in his 6-foot-5-inch, 260 pound body and it is obviously nice to land a kid from right in Iowa State’s backyard. He is also the first piece of what is expected to be an important class as Iowa State tries to rebuild the offensive line.

It is obviously still early in the process and a lot is likely to change in the next 10 months. Regardless, Campbell and his staff have really hit the ground running on this class. It is going to be very interesting to see how this race turns out.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.