Iowa State has made recruiting top in-state prospects one of its biggest priorities since Matt Campbell and his staff arrived in Ames.
In 2017, five of the top 11 and six of the top 16 prospects from Iowa signed with the Cyclones including Cedar Rapids Washington linebacker O’Rien Vance, who was the fourth-highest rated in-state prospect in the class.
As the 2018 recruiting cycle starts to ramp up, the Cyclones are again involved with several of the top prospects from inside Iowa’s borders. Here is a look at the top five in-state players in the class, according to 247Composite, and where Iowa State stands with their recruitments.
1. John Waggoner – Defensive End – Dowling Catholic
Iowa State became the first school to offer the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end after he camped in Ames last June. Since then, the West Des Moines-product has seen his recruitment blow up and a number of the nation’s best programs extend scholarship offers of their own.
Oklahoma was the most recent school to offer Waggoner joining LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Ohio State, Oregon and quite a few others. Keeping Iowa State alive in the chase for the state’s top prospect could be an uphill battle, but one positive is the Iowa State staff has impressed the Dowling staff and head coach Tom Wilson in the 17 months since Campbell took over.
2. Dillon Doyle – Outside Linebacker – Iowa City West
The recruitment for the state’s No. 2 prospect didn’t last long as he committed to Iowa on March 20. That fact isn’t overly surprising considering he is the son of Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle.
The Hawkeyes are, and likely will be, the only school to offer the 6-foot-3, 214-pound linebacker.
3. Saybein Clark – Athlete – Sioux City, Bishop Heelan
Iowa State was the first school to offer the 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete more than a year ago on April 22. Iowa joined the list on Sept. 1 and Clark has unofficially visited Ames twice since, including last month on March 25.
Clark is the second-highest rated in-state prospect by 247 and was the No. 179 player overall when the Top247 was last updated. This will be an interesting recruitment to follow through the summer and Clark’s senior season up until signing day next February.
4. Trevor Downing – Offensive Tackle – Creston
Downing was one of the first in-state prospects to pick up a scholarship offer from Campbell when he arrived at Iowa State and he has been near the top of the staff’s board ever since. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman has been on campus 10 times since picking up that offer and he’s been one of the staff’s top priorities every time they’re able to go on the road.
The three-star prospect also holds offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas State and Missouri, but I think it would be tough to say Iowa State isn’t the clubhouse leader at this point heading towards the summer.
5. Tyler Linderbaum – Defensive Tackle – Solon
Again, Iowa State was the first school to offer this in-state prospect. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder has since picked up an offer from Iowa and garnered interest from Minnesota.
Linderbaum unofficially visited Ames the weekend of March 25 and was at Minnesota earlier in March. He also attended Iowa State’s Junior Day in February.