Finding a kicker will be one of the top tasks for the Iowa State football coaching staff while it puts together the 2017 recruiting class. Long-time starter Cole Netten will play his senior season this fall leaving the Cyclones with a hole to fill.
The coaches have set their eyes on Gilbert, Ariz., native Brandon Ruiz as one of the top targets at the position.
“They have a young coaching staff and are very good,” Ruiz told CF in a message earlier this week. “Their special teams coach is Joe Houston and I have known him for a while.”
According to Chris Sailer Kicking, Ruiz is rated as the No. 2 kicker in the country and is a five-star prospect. He jumped onto the scene earlier this spring after a video surfaced of him making a 75-yard field goal during practice.
He’s picked up interest from both home-state Power 5 schools, Arizona and Arizona State, plus Oregon State, Army and Brown. When it comes time to pick one, the deciding factor will be pretty simple.
“I am looking at whether or not I will start as a freshman the most,” Ruiz said.
The door would certainly be open for Ruiz to make that jump during his freshman season as Chris Francis will be the only kicker on the roster with any experience — and he doesn’t have much at that.
Ruiz hasn’t been to Ames yet but hopes to make visit plans later on during the summer. His recruitment is also likely to move fast as he said he would like to be committed by his first game next fall.