The college football recruiting dead period ends at midnight on Thursday and the homestretch for the 2017 recruiting class will be in view. Iowa State’s class with 20 commits currently sits No. 46 nationally and fifth in the Big 12 head into the last few weeks before signing day on February 1.
Here’s where ISU stands at each position heading into the stretch run:
Quarterback: The Cyclones landed their signal-caller of the future early in the cycle when Waterloo West quarterback Devon Moore became Matt Campbell’s first commit. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound three-star threw for 2,331 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior and has played a role in helping with Iowa State’s recruiting efforts ever since joining the class last December.
Other targets: N/A
Running back: It still isn’t entirely clear if Iowa State will take a running back in this class but if they do, I’m willing to bet they will be selective. ISU running backs coach Lou Ayeni has a track record of success after landing Mike Warren, David Montgomery and Kene Nwangwu late in their respective recruiting cycles. Look for names to emerge over the next several weeks if the Cyclones do indeed end up taking a running back in this class.
Current targets: TBD
Wide receiver: Iowa State already has one pass catcher on campus in the form of JUCO standout Matt Eaton, who enrolled for the spring semester. He joins three-star Arkansas-native Josh Johnson to form a solid duo for this season’s class. The Cyclones could end up taking one more receiver in this class and if they do, it will likely be Bradenton, Fla. two-star Tarique Milton. The 5-foot-10 speedster visited Ames for the weekend of Sept. 23 and made 64 catches for 1,087 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior season.
Current targets: Tarique Milton
Tight end: Norman North tight end Charlie Kolar might be one of the least talked about recruits in the class, but the 6-foot-6 three-star also might be one of the most underrated players in the class. Kolar caught 59 passes for 1,120 yards and 11 touchdowns during his senior campaign and saw his 247 rankings increase during the season. Iowa State might have taken another tight end earlier in the class, but it doesn’t seem likely that they will now.
Current targets: N/A
Offensive line: Iowa State already has three commits for its offensive line class and they’ll likely try to add at least two more before signing day rolls around. In-state tackles Colin Newell (Ames) and Alex Kleinow (Iowa City, West) join Jeff Nogaj (Johnstown, Ohio) to make up a solid group of three-star high school prospects. After missing out on Caleb Chandler, the staff will likely turn a lot of their attention towards Ohio four-star Thayer Munford and Georgia three-star Jacob Bolton. Current Purdue commit Robert Hudson will be another name to watch as signing day gets closer. The staff will also continue to pursue graduate transfers that can make an immediate impact next season.
Current targets: Thayer Munford, Jacob Bolton, Robert Hudson
Defensive line: The Cyclones already have eight defensive linemen in this class, but don’t be surprised if someone leaves the class before signing day. JUCOs Ray Lima, Matt Leo and Kamilo Tongamoa headline the group and will be expected to step into impact roles next season. High school prospects Cordarrius Bailey (Clarksdale, Miss.), Angel Dominguez (Lenexa, Kan.), Dan Sichterman (Kings Mills, Ohio) and John Nagel (Manchester, Iowa; West Delaware) combine to make up a better than solid group of young defensive linemen. Guys like 6-foot-2 two-star defensive end Koby Cumberlander and 6-foot-2 three-star defensive tackle Ellison Hubbard are some of the top possibilities if ISU adds another defensive lineman to this class.
Current targets: Koby Cumberlander, Ellison Hubbard
Linebacker: The staff got a pair of in-state prospects in the fold in O’Rien Vance (Cedar Rapids, Washington) and Jake Hummel (Dowling Catholic) last spring. It is likely they’ll stand pat at this position for the rest of the cycle. Expect linebacker to be one of the staff’s top priorities for the 2018 class.
Current targets: N/A
Defensive back: Three-star safety Kam White remains one of the crown jewels of this class and it will continue to be a battle until the end to keep him in the fold. He’s joined by early enrollee Richard Bowens III and Florida two-star Datrone Young to make up a solid group of defensive backs. Iowa State’s top targets moving forward appear to be Cal commit Michael Onyemaobi, West Virginia commit Kenny Robinson (he’ll visit this weekend leading up to the Big Monday game), three-star Cincinnati safety Keonte Jones (Deshaunte’s brother) and Florida three-star Zamari Maxwell. Onyemaobi might take another visit to Ames before signing day and it is unclear how the situation at Cal after Sonny Dykes’ firing will effect his recruitment. I expect this to be one of the positions where Iowa State is most active in the next few weeks. Also, don’t be surprised if they try to add a graduate transfer defensive back that can come in and fill an immediate need in 2017.
Current targets: Michael Onyemaobi, Kenny Robinson, Keonte Jones, Zamari Maxwell