Matt Campbell put the bow on his 2017 recruiting class during a press conference on Wednesday and now his staff will turn the page to 2018. Well, actually, they will go back to the page that is the 2018 recruiting class.
Campbell said he and his staff were able to put a great deal of work into the 2018 class leading up to the final evaluation period before signing day. That worked included multiple coaches hitting the trail and handing out 2018 scholarships at some of the best football schools in the country.
“We still know how critical we have to be in catching up in this recruiting process,” Campbell said on Wednesday. “We spent all of Christmas break, we spent the entire time saying, ‘Six-hour radius to these critical states that we’re recruiting, we’re going to know and figure out who we’re recruiting so when we go back out in January we’re kind of done recruiting 2017, other than finishing up, and let’s make sure our time is really important in getting out and getting a huge jump start on 2018 and we were able to do that, which is awesome.”
Over the next several weeks, the on-field coaches will start to turn their attention towards spring ball, which starts on February 28. Meanwhile, the off-field staff will be continuing most of the the work on the 2018 class.
The month will give the program several weeks to get some kids on-campus early in their recruiting processes. Having basketball games on three consecutive Saturdays will also play a crucial role in the staff’s efforts.
“We’re going to really hustle to get people on our campus,” Campbell told Cyclone Fanatic. “We’re fortunate to get some Saturday basketball games during the month of February. We’re going to use those to our advantage. Really try to get people on our campus before we start spring practice. We start a little bit earlier this year, the last week of February, so even that last Saturday going into the last week of February trying to get people on campus as much as we can before spring break.”
Here are four names to know before 2018 recruiting fully ramps up:
The Creston offensive lineman has been one of Iowa State’s top priorities since Campbell’s arrival. He camped at Iowa State last summer and has taken five unofficial visits to Ames.
Downing, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound prospect, is rated as the No. 30 offensive guard in the class and No. 3 player in Iowa. He also holds offers from Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri.
Our own Chris Williams reported Campbell and several members of the staff were in Shenandoah watching Downing play basketball last Friday.
Clark is another player that camped at Iowa State last summer then took an unofficial visit during the season. The Bishop Heelan product is rated as the No. 2 prospect in Iowa and No. 8 athlete in the class by 247.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect has already run for 2,912 yards and 37 touchdowns during his high school career. The four-star also has an offer from Iowa.
The Dowling Catholic defensive end is the No. 1 player in the state and No. 140 player in the country, according to 247. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect camped in Ames last summer and unofficially visited twice during the season.
He made eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss during his junior season for the Maroons. He also holds an offer from Iowa.
Iowa State was the first school to offer the 6-foot-9, 310-pound Iowa Western Community College product. He has since reportedly picked up an offer from Oklahoma and drawn attention from a handful of other big-time suitors.
He was on campus once last fall and the staff was visited him during the month of January.