Over the last week, I have been catching up with the high school coaches of Iowa State’s current football commits for Q&A style pieces detailing what has allowed the players to have success at the high school level, the coaches’ interactions with Iowa State and more.

On Tuesday, I posted the first piece in this series with Mike Rosenthal, the head coach at Austin High School and quarterback commit Charles Wright’s coach. Today, we shift our eyes back in-state.

Jim Bonifas is regarded as the highest-rated commit in Iowa State’s 2021 recruiting class and solidified himself as one of the state’s top offensive linemen during his first three seasons at Dubuque Senior. I caught up with Dubuque Senior head coach Dale Ploessl to talk about Bonifas’ development and what he’ll bring to the program.

Q: What has allowed Jim to have success in your program?

Ploessl: “The thing that’s been so amazing with Jim was where he started from. He came into high school as a skinny, tall kid trying to play quarterback. He’s put on about 60 pounds and a couple of inches and has developed himself into a lineman. He’s got a great frame, he’s long and he works really, really hard at it. He’s very dedicated and motivated to get better all the time.”

Q: What have your interactions with the Iowa State coaches been like during his recruitment?

Ploessl: “They’ve been great. They’ve said out from the beginning that they really liked Jim because of his size and his athletic ability. Everybody saw that he was still growing and getting better each year. They had been monitoring for a year or so just seeing how he’d been coming along. He just kept getting better and better. They’ve really built a great relationship with Jim. That was very, very important. They were honest all along and just were very good in communicating on where they stood and what they liked about him and it all worked out.”

Q: When you describe him, what would you say the program is getting in him as a player and as a person?

Ploessl: “Two things, as a player, they’re going to get a guy who is going to give them everything he’s got. He’s a great team player. He’s going to do whatever he can to, one, get on the field and, two, to win. He wants to go. He wants to win football games. He wants to play. He’s going to do everything in his power to get himself to be the best player he can be and to make his teammates even better. He’s a great leader. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the road he was a captain of the football team. That kind of goes into the type of kid they’re getting and personality. Jim’s one of the best students in our school. He has a very, very high GPA. He’s a very intelligent kid. He’s really personable. He’s a great leader, not just on the field, but off the field. He’s a good football player, but he’s an even better kid off the field. They’re getting a great person to have in the program.”

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.