Over the last few weeks, I have been catching up with the high school coaches of Iowa State’s current commits in the 2021 recruiting class.
On Thursday, I had a chance to talk to Andres Perez, who is the head football coach at Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Fla. and the coach of recent ISU running back commit Deon Silas. Silas, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound three-star recruit, committed to the Cyclones last Saturday over offers from Toledo, USF, Bowling Green, Liberty and a handful of other programs.
He is considered the No. 9 all-purpose back in the country by 247Composite.
Here is my conversation with Coach Perez in Q&A format about one of the more recent ISU commits.
Q: How have you seen Deon develop in your program since he got to you guys?
Perez: His development has been unbelievable. Now, I will tell you, he was pretty special when he got to us. As a freshman walking in, it’s pretty rare in Florida playing 8A football that we have a freshman that actually starts for us and, sure enough, that’s what he was. He never played on our junior varsity team. He was on another level when he got to us. Honestly, just teaching him little things here and there, his growth has just taken off. Obviously, you can see the results from that.
Q: What are some of the things he could do right away that made you step back and say, ‘Whoa, okay, this kid is something different’?
Perez: More than anything, really, when he came in, his vision, his explosiveness, his ability to make people miss was just unbelievable. Really, from there, as we started to hone in on his skills and everything else, all the other things came around. His leadership, which is off the charts right now. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and play multiple positions is kind of how we grew his game and really he’s worked on his skill set the last couple years to be able to be a guy that we can use anywhere on the field.
Q: What have your interactions with the Iowa State coaches been like?
Perez: We had Aiden Bitter that’s from (the 2020) class and is currently (signed) there, so our relationship started with him. I’ll tell you that the Iowa State coaches have been first class in everything that they do as far as communicating with me, communicating with the kids. They’ve done everything right in creating those relationships step by step and I’m really, really excited for our kids to play for a coaching staff like that.
Q: What will the program be getting in Deon, not only as a player, but as a person?
Perez: There are few kids that are like Deon. I personally have, in 15 years as a coach, never coached a kid like him. I’m not talking about his playing ability. I’m talking about the person that he is, his loyalty to others, the fact that he cares about his community, cares about his teammates before himself. Usually, your all-star players, they just want the ball all the time, and, I’ll tell you, he really wants the ball all the time, but he really wants to see his teammates succeed also. His lack of selfishness is unbelievable. He’s just special in all different facets and is a special human being. He’s going to be a great asset to that locker room. I’m excited to see what he does up there.