RECRUITING: Recapping week one of the spring evaluation period

The football recruiting spring evaluation period officially began last Saturday and the Iowa State coaching staff hit the road in full force starting on Monday. The evaluation period is a time when coaches are able to watch players workout and discuss prospects with high school coaches and administrators, but they can’t have face-to-face contact with prospects younger than seniors.

During this period, you’ll see a large number of scholarship offers extended and that was the case with Iowa State. You can see some of the players Iowa State has offered so far this week in this thread on our forums.

Here I’ll be going back over some of the notable prospects Iowa State watched during the spring evaluation period, listing their offers and, in some cases, going over how their recruitment stands at this time.

Elijah Jones – Cornerback – Ellsworth C.C.

This 6-foot-3, 175-pound defensive back picked up an Iowa State offer on March 31 and tight ends coach Alex Golesh stopped by to check him out on Monday. Jones, who posted 11 tackles and three interceptions last season for Ellsworth, also holds an offer Utah State. The Fort Meyers, Flor. native has also reportedly received interest from Oregon State and Colorado.

Will McDonald – Defensive End – Waukesha, WI

McDonald was Iowa State’s first commitment in the 2018 class and a member of the staff stopped by his high school to see him on Monday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound three-star is rated as the No. 48 weak side defensive end in the country and No. 5 prospect by 247Composite.

Bryson Williams – Defensive Tackle – Lincoln, NE

Williams was on campus for Iowa State’s spring game earlier this month. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound Lincoln Southeast picked up an Iowa State offer after a visit from defensive line coach Eli Rasheed on Monday. His other offers include Iowa, Kansas State and quite a few smaller FBS programs. He’s the No. 3 prospect in Nebraska and No. 68 defensive tackle in the class, according to 247Composite.

Nelson Ceaser – Defensive End – Missouri City, TX

Iowa State became the second school to offer this 6-foot-4, 210-pound defensive end in the class of 2019 after linebackers coach Tyson Veidt stopped by his school on Monday. He’s rated as the four-star prospect, No. 76 prospect in the class, the No. 5 weak side defensive end and No. 10 player in Texas. His other offer is from Texas Tech.

Sterling Galban – Wide Receiver – Burnet, TX

Iowa State offered this 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster on March 21 and he unofficially visited campus during the first weekend in April. He’s the No. 186 wide receiver in the class and No. 164 prospect in Texas. His other offers include Columbia, Cornell and Dartmouth.

Trevor Downing – Offensive Tackle – Creston, IA

Downing has long been one of the top targets on Iowa State’s board for the 2018 class and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound three-star is the No. 4 prospect in Iowa and No. 33 offensive tackle in the class. He’s been on campus quite a few times and always one of the top priorities when coaches are able to hit the road. Iowa State’s top competition remains Iowa and Minnesota.

Braelen Oliver – Outside Linebacker – Douglasville, GA

This 6-foot-1, 210-pound three-star picked up an Iowa State offer earlier this month and the Cyclones have been one of the schools he’s heard from most. Oliver told Cyclone Fanatic on Tuesday that Iowa State, Wake Forest, Colorado State and Georgia Southern are the schools he’s had the most contact with so far. He’s the No. 48 outside linebacker in the 2018 class and No. 66 prospect in Georgia.

Aaron Casey – Safety/Outside Linebacker – Douglasville, GA

Casey, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect, received an Iowa State offer last month and recently picked one up from West Virginia. He said those two schools along with South Alabama, Ball State and Georgia Southern are the ones he’s heard from most frequently. This is what he told Cyclone Fanatic on Tuesday about his interactions with Iowa State coaches:

“They said they like my versatility,” Casey said.  “How I can roll back and cover the field and also come down to make a hit.”

Ezra Miller – Offensive Tackle – Holstein, IA

Miller picked up an Iowa State offer during an unofficial visit for the spring game and offensive line coach Tom Manning stopped by Ridge View High School to watch him workout on Tuesday. He’s the No. 1 prospect in Iowa for the 2019 class, No. 9 offensive tackle in the country and No. 84 player overall. The four-star also holds an offer from Iowa.

Mario Goodrich – Athlete – Lees Summit, MO

Goodrich is rated as the No. 18 athlete in the country by 247Composite and is a four-star prospect. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver and cornerback was visited by a member of the staff on Thursday. He’s considered a heavy Nebraska lean, but he also has offers from Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State as well as the Cyclones.

Vincent Gray – Cornerback – Rochester, MI

Iowa State offered Gray back in December and they’ve been hard after him ever since. He’s rated as the No. 55 cornerback in the class and No. 12 prospect in Michigan. His other offers include Washington State and Purdue.

Daniel Parker – Defensive End – Blue Springs, MO

The 6-foot-2, 268-pound three-star is rated as the No. 19 strong side defensive end in the class and No. 9 prospect in Missouri, by 247Composite. He was visited by a member of Iowa State’s staff on Thursday. His other offers include Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa and Illinois.

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.