RECRUITING: Fire up the Grill; Caleb Grill is returning to Iowa State

Mar 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; UNLV Rebels guard Caleb Grill (3) controls the ball while defended by Utah State Aggies guard Steven Ashworth (3) during the first half at the Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It is time to pull out the charcoal and fire up the Grill.

After leaving Iowa State’s program last spring, Caleb Grill is returning to the Cyclones to play for new head coach T.J. Otzelberger. The Maize, Kan. native played for Otzelberger this past season at UNLV.

Grill, a 6-foot-3 off-ball guard, averaged 9.1 points and shot 34 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore for the Runnin’ Rebels while starting 27 games. That followed up a 2019-20 freshman season in Ames that saw Grill average 2.1 points and shoot 25 percent from deep in 29 appearances, including two starts.

Grill originally signed with Otzelberger and his staff at South Dakota State as a member of the 2019 recruiting class but was released from his letter of intent once Otzelberger took the head coaching job in Vegas.

The former three-star recruit quickly became a hot commodity in the spring recruiting cycle, picking up scholarship offers from Iowa State, Kansas State, Creighton and UNLV in the days after opening his recruitment. He ultimately signed with the Cyclones and former head coach Steve Prohm in early May 2019 after taking visits to each of those programs.

Grill’s time with the Cyclones can be described as inconsistent at best but largely as a struggle considering he had a stretch from mid-November to early February where he shot 2-of-26 from 3-point range as the team fell further and further down the Big 12 standings. Those struggles were a big part of the reason for Grill’s split with the program and, ultimately, his reunion with Otzelberger at UNLV.

Grill is expected to return to more of a bench role with the Cyclones in 2021-22.

The commitment caps a massive recruiting weekend for Otzelberger and his staff that saw them land a commitment from Minnesota transfer Gabe Kalscheur plus earn the reaffirmation of four-star Wisconsin point guard Tyrese Hunter‘s commitment on Saturday.

Iowa State now has two scholarships left to fill in the spring recruiting cycle and will likely be used to pursue at least one more high-level transfer for next year’s roster.

Stay tuned to Cyclone Fanatic for more on Iowa State men’s basketball’s roster coming together for the 2021-22 season in the days ahead.

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.