This is a weekly scatter-shooting of Iowa State program and recruiting information, exclusive to AllCyclones subscribers
***Northeast Oklahoma A&M safety Devron Moore was impressed by the professionalism of Iowa State's coaching staff on his official visit over the weekend, a trip which put the Cyclones in good position with Moore.
"I just liked how I could fit in," Moore said Wednesday afternoon over the phone while driving home to Joplin, Missouri. "The coaches knew everything about everything — academics, weights. Everything [with them] was really organized."
As is the case with nearly every single JUCO product, playing time is of the upmost importance for Moore. He's of course noticed the Cyclones are losing safeties Jacques Washington and Deon Broomfield to graduation.
The problem for Iowa State, however, is Moore's other top schools can say the same. TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia — they'll all have holes to fill in the defensive secondary next season.
"A lot of the schools I'm looking at are losing safeties, so it's up to how my officials go," Moore said.
An official visit to TCU is on tap for this weekend then trips to Texas Tech and West Virginia. A December graduate, Moore will have to make his decision between the four Big 12 schools pretty soon. The waiting period is a long one for Iowa State, however, which surely liked the chance to set the bar high but has a disadvantage in the recency department by the time Moore is finished with his officials and goes about looking back at them.
Moore had three interceptions this season, two going back for touchdowns, and was first-team all-conference. The year prior, he picked off seven passes.
"I feel like I can help," Moore said.
***Moore's teammate, Keishawn Richardson, a fellow defensive back, is the only one we've been unable to track down of seven official visitors from last weekend. Richardson is reportedly dealing with phone issues, but we'll keep trying.
Paul Rhoads said this week the Cyclones had room for about five spots left in the 2014 class. That number's closer to eight. Iowa State has 15 commits and will take a quarterback but is mostly focusing on the defensive line and secondary, to go with a linebacker, preferably a Mike type.
I can see the Cyclones taking up to three defensive linemen and three defensive backs.
***We haven't talked about him in a while, but Largo (FL) cornerback Cordell Hudson has official visits to Rutgers and Syracuse coming up and then will likely make a decision. He visited Iowa State for the game against the Hawkeyes in September.
***Terrell Clinkscales is visiting Nebraska this weekend. At this point, it's a two-horse race between the Cornhuskers and Kansas State, but this is far from over. He still has a January visit to Texas Tech and won't sign until February.
***Pasadena JUCO defensive end Dale Pierson did not unofficially visit Southern Cal on Tuesday, which had been the plan. The Trojans have not offered. I heard from a source close to Pierson the Cyclones are his top school.
***As chances with Clinkscales diminish, Dunnellon (FL) defensive tackle Keiwan Jones turns into a must-get. It'll be between Iowa State and Purdue, the visit to West Lafayette coming Dec. 6-8.
There are differences for a defensive tackle in the Big 12 and the Big Ten, and Jones said he went over those with ISU position coach Shane Burnham.
The Big Ten does produce some very good interior defensive linemen, but Saturdays are a little easier in the Big 12, where a huge responsibility is getting after the passer, where a little further North there are fullbacks to worry about.
"Coach tried to break it down," Jones said. "In the Big 12 you have QBs who get rid of the ball real fast. So you've got to get your hands up. In the Big 12 I won't be stuffing fullbacks and 375-pound [offensive linemen]. I'm fundamentally sound and I know I'll get better anywhere, I'll adjust to anything defensively."
It's not as cut-and-dry, but at its most basic sense it's power vs. finesse.
Iowa State's base 4-3 defense is identical to the one Jones runs at Dunnellon.
"To come up there [on an official visit last weekend] and see them play the exact defense, I could come in and ball," Jones said.
Although he could wait until February, Jones wants to get the recruiting process over with in the next few weeks.
"I think after Purdue I'm going to decide," he said. "The recruiting process is stressful. You get pressure from [all coaches]. I'm one of those kind of guys who has a hard time saying 'no.' If nothing else came up now, I'd [end the recruiting process].
"I narrowed it down to the top two schools. I'm ready to handle my business."
***Copiah-Lincoln (MS) JUCO linebacker Jordan Harris visited Iowa State last weekend and lists the Cyclones as his top school. No surprise — it's his first visit.
Harris visits North Texas and MTSU in mid-December but before that is a trip to Cincinnati on Dec. 5.
***Qujuan Floyd has an official visit to Utah on Jan. 17. The ball-hawking free safety visited Iowa State over the weekend and is a May graduate who'll sign in February.
***Let's stay in Utah. Mt. San Jacinto OLB Dejon Brown had planned to visit Tennessee over the weekend but that fell through. The Vols have 33 commits in their 2014 class and just received a verbal from a linebacker. Instead, Brown trekked to Utah State for his official. The Aggies, as of Monday, are in the lead, and Brown will be deciding soon.
Iowa State and Washington State remain in the mix.
***Darius Lee-Campbell has been quiet since he took his Iowa State visit in early November. The dual-threat quarterback and Cyclones lean visited Yale last weekend and is expected to go to Wake Forest in a week.
As we reported a few weeks ago, Lee-Campbell told Paul Rhoads he'd like to commit in the wake of his visit to Ames, but Rhoads told him to go home and think it over with his family. Lee-Campbell's parents would like him to take visits and make sure Iowa State is the right fit.
***The Cyclones offered 2015 offensive tackle Christian Gaylord, a mammoth (6-foot-7ish) prospect who is highly-coveted. Gaylord was in Ames over the weekend for an official visit.