RECRUITING: Four players that can make early impacts at Iowa State

With signing day falling into the review mirror, it’s time to look ahead to how the members of this year’s class will fit into the program in the coming years.

Obviously, graduate transfer offensive linemen David Dawson and Khaliel Rodgers will be needed to fill roles in their first, and only, season on campus. The four JUCO signees, Ray Lima, Kamilo Tongamoa, Matt Leo and Matt Eaton, are in a similar boat as they’re expected to step into immediate roles in the program.

Which of the 20 high school prospects signed in this year’s class will be looked to make contributions early in their college careers?

Here are four possibilities:

Richard Bowens

Bowens already has a leg up on every other high school prospect in the class since he enrolled for the spring semester. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound three-star defensive back has the speed, size and raw skill to find a role in Iowa State’s secondary as an underclassman.

There are holes to fill in Iowa State’s defensive backfield and Bowens being on campus for spring ball puts him in position to play a factor.

Angel Dominguez

Dominguez flew a little under-the-radar in this class but that is mostly due to a knee injury that caused him to miss most of his senior season. The three-star Lenexa, Kan. native was recruited as a defensive end, but will likely move to the interior at the college level.

He was listed at 6-foot-2, 282-pounds when Iowa State tweeted out his signing. There is no doubt that he has the size to compete so don’t be surprised if he is mentioned as a young standout when fall camp rolls around.

Josh Johnson

Johnson was one of the most highly-sought players in Iowa State’s class and turned down programs like Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Minnesota to join the Cyclones. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound three-star is walking into a good situation in Iowa State’s receiver room.

With the depth of ISU’s receiving corp in 2017, it might be hard for him to find a role as a true freshman, but don’t be at all surprised if he’s seeing the field after a redshirt year.

O’Rien Vance

Vance could end up being the biggest steal of the class for Iowa State. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound outside linebacker likely would’ve had more suitors if not for early academic concerns.

It sounds like those concerns will no longer be an issue which is obviously huge for the Cyclones. The Cedar Rapids Washington product is the No. 28 outside linebacker in the class, No. 4 prospect in Iowa and recorded 261.5 tackles during his high school career.

It will be interesting to see where Vance ends up playing in John Heacock’s defense and how soon he sees the field as a Cyclone.

Jared Stansbury


Jared is in his seventh year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as a full-time staff writer in May 2016. He took over as the site's managing editor in January 2020. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.