“Fit, feel, family” formed a theme for Iowa State’s early Class of 2024 signees

  AMES —Fit. Feel. Family.

 Iowa State checked all those boxes for Southeast Polk quarterback Connor Moberly, who fulfilled a lifelong dream by cementing his commitment to the Cyclones during Wednesday’s early national signing day.

 “It’s cool being kind of like a Cyclone family,” said Moberly, the top-rated in-state quarterback in the Class of 2024 according to 247 Sports. “Both of my parents went there, my brother’s there and now (he’s) doing things with his fraternity and the student section and all that. It’ll be great to be up there with him for a semester and a full year.”

 Moberly — who threw 30 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions while leading the Rams to consecutive 5A state titles — helps headline a recruiting class ISU head coach Matt Campbell described as emblematic of his program’s philosophy “since day one” in 2016.

 “We want to recruit the Midwest,” Campbell said. “We want to recruit young men (who) come from great high school football programs. And we want to recruit young men (who) know how to win and be successful.”

 Moberly embodies those traits, but he’s not alone. Campbell said all of the 23 signees on Wednesday check those boxes for him and his staff, including in-state tight end Keaton Roskop of Linn-Mar, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL sustained in his senior season with the Lions.

 “I think Keaton fits a little bit more in the fullback/F (position), but also he’s got — a lot like (current ISU tight end) Stevo (Klotz), he’s a guy that can really, in space, do a lot of things in terms of the ability to create matchups in the passing game, the ability to catch and accelerate (with) the ball,” Campbell said. “But, again, like Stevo, when you’re looking at the videotape, he’s a really physical football player at the point of attack.”

 Another class of 2024 tight end, Cooper Alexander, reminds Campbell of former Cyclone star Charlie Kolar, who’s in his second season with the Baltimore Ravens.

 “I think he was highly recruited for a reason,” Campbell said. “I got to go watch the (Oklahoma) state semifinal game a couple weeks ago and I thought, no question, he was one of the best football players that I’ve seen play high school football.”

Moberly shined as one of the best players at an ISU prospect camp two summers ago and Campbell took notice. 

 “We’re like, ‘Man, this guy’s gonna be special,” Campbell said. “And you watch his growth process through his junior year and the way he played, and I’ll never forget, we’re getting ready for a game last year at home, and watching that state championship game. I think the second play of the game he fakes (a handoff to current No. 1 Cyclone tailback) Abu (Sama) and hits a poster for a touchdown. It’s like, ‘Geez, this guy’s really special,’ and the next day we offered him a scholarship. I feel like we’ve been on a two-year journey with Connor and his family and it’s almost like he’s been here for a year in some way, shape, or form. He fits who we are. He fits what this program’s about. He loves Iowa State.”

 That — as Campbell’s echoed for eight years as the Cyclones’ head coach — stands paramount when it comes to identifying and meeting recruiting needs. ISU’s Class of 2024 is ranked 54th nationally according to the 247 Sports Composite, but the star-based system doesn’t factor in what Campbell and his staff value the most: Fit. Feel. Family.

 “I think our program has proven to show it’s really healthy,” said Campbell, whose team (7-5) will play Memphis (9-3) in the Dec. 29 Liberty Bowl. “We’re gonna recruit high school student-athletes and we’re gonna try to do as good a job or better than anybody in the country (at) developing those guys into great players. So (we’ve) got 22 high school signees (and) you add 12 great walk-ons — all kids that we believe fit the foundation of Iowa State football in the future.”