Matt Campbell made it clear from his first day as the head coach at Iowa State that he felt like the program was behind the eight-ball on the recruiting trail. But, entering Campbell’s third season at the helm, he has seen those winds change.
The Cyclones are no longer playing catch-up with the rest of the country and the results are in the putting as the staff has assembled a 2019 recruiting class that currently sits as the No. 28 class in the country, according to 247Composite.
“I think we’re finally caught up and that allows us to not only have a great eye on finishing this class but really start eyeing those relationships that are so critical to success in that 2020 class,” Campbell told Cyclone Fanatic last week. “We can focus on that now, especially in the midwest, our six-to-eight hour radius, it really allows us to do that.”
The fruits of being caught up on the recruiting trail truly started to show themselves when the staff was able to get a major jump on this 2019 class. While in some years previous to Campbell’s regime, the program was still searching for its first commitment in mid-spring, Iowa State already had three 2019 commits before the end of December 2018 and before it had even officially wrapped up its 2018 class.
Now, the Cyclones have 19 commitments just a few weeks before the start of the 2018 season and only a couple spots remaining in what is shaping up to be the best recruiting class in program history. Plus, the staff has already secured a pair of commitments for the 2020 class, including three-star quarterback Aidan Bouman.
But even with the staff’s ability to get commitments early in this 2019 cycle, that does not mean the job of building this class is complete until each of the commits sign on the dotted line in December. The weeks leading up to the season also give the staff another opportunity to evaluate where they are and which needs are most pressing when it comes to filling out the final spots in the class.
“It’s great for the commitment role of it, but we know the reality of finishing on that class, even for guys that are committed to us right now,” Campbell said. “I think identifying, that’s one thing I like about fall camp, is maybe the one or two guys that we would maybe sign left in this class, what exactly do we need? Where is our team? What would concern you? For me, I not only have a 2019 depth chart, but I have a 2020 depth chart and I’ve got a 2021 depth chart. That’s always moving kind of based on what it looks like and what it feels like, but I think camp helps you identify too, do you want to do anything with finishing this recruiting class?”