Key Evaluation Period Begins

Iowa State padded camp commences next week, and as usual a smorgasbord of in-state talent figures to be on display in front of head coach Dan McCarney and his staff. Topping the list of prospective Cyclones is West Des Moines Valley running back Jason Scales and mammoth offensive lineman Jordan Goos of Treynor.

Jason Scales was among the top 100 national senior recruits recently named by TheInsiders and is one of the best skill players to come out of his high school in years.

"As a high school player, he shows as much potential as any running back I've ever seen in the state," said Valley head coach Gary Swenson, who has placed the likes of Casey Shelton, Joe Woodley and Collin Menard on ISU's current roster. "He has the ability to do the innate things that you don't teach a kid and still also have the physical tools to do that.

"For not being a real big guy, he's very strong, powerful and his speed is getting better all the time. He can make you miss in the open field. He's also proven to be very durable. He's right at the top of anybody we've ever had here. He is a legitimate Division I player."

Scales heads to Ames in hopes of improving his game even further. But one would wonder what else there is on Scales' to-do list. He led the Tigers to a Class 4A state championship last season while clearing 2,600 yards and 25 touchdowns. He has rushed for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns combined since the 2001 campaign. But the talented runner will actually be focusing on plenty next week.

"I will be concentrating on my general footwork, paying attention to details and getting the little things right," said Scales. "(ISU) Coach (Tony) Alford mentioned the importance of paying attention to detail and getting better at the little things."

Last June at ISU's padded camp, Scales laid the foundation for what would be a junior season of nine 200-plus yard games. The experience proved valuable for what he accomplished as a junior.

"I think it was just overall improvement in my game and it gave me another opportunity to get in pads a little bit sooner," he said. "I got a feel for the game again."

So what are some of the off-field benefits to making the trek to Ames?

"I think it gives you a chance to understand some of the intensity that's involved in the program," Scales said. "It also gives you a chance to get an idea of how the coaches are. I really enjoy talking to Coach Alford and will get to meet up with him once again."

While Scales figures to wait out his recruiting into the fall and winter months before making a decision, ISU could have a commitment in hand from the 6-foot-8, 285-pound Jordan Goos by the end of the month.

The Treynor offensive lineman indicated last month that he'll likely make up his mind sooner rather than later, and the Cyclone camp might be a good place to do so.

"It will probably be about the middle of summer or the end of June," he said. "I'm looking to decide pretty soon. Iowa State's been the best so far. When I went up there the coaches were great. I had a good time."

Goos will also take advantage of the time spent in helmet and shoulder pads.

"I'm pretty excited for camp," he said. "It'll give me another chance to play football before the season starts."

Scales and Goos figure to be the top in-state crop in Ames, since a few others won't be making the trip for one reason or another. Playmaking Cedar Rapids Washington linebacker Maurice Cantrell told CN he'll be visiting relatives in Washington D.C. for three weeks and won't be attending.

The Cyclones are currently the only program to have made an offer to Cantrell, so his absence probably won't effect their recruitment of him.

Cantrell also said his teammates Adrian Arrington, a national wide receiver recruit, and quarterback Warren Seuss would be heading to Michigan. Iowa City West tailback Greg Coleman also is not expected in Ames.

Arrington and Coleman were among three in-state seniors listed in TheInsiders' top 100 preseason rankings, joining Scales.

ISU's padded camp figures to be a valuable tool when it comes to evaluation of this year's in-state crop, as many players could garner scholarship offers throughout the week or could be considered for one in the coming months.

Stay tuned for news on those prospects in our reports next week.

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