ISU's Wish List

Iowa State is well into the spring evaluation period and will play it slow with new offers. A couple dozen 2015 prospects have already picked up offers, though — head inside as we list the 10 most vital targets

The Cyclones are on the road until the end of May, bumping with recruits, chatting with high school coaches, collecting tape and watching workouts — and in the case of Texas and Florida, watching spring practice. The staff has taken a conservative approach to offers at this time and will present their reports in a war room of sorts at the end of the evaluation period in late-May, early-June, at which time a flurry of offers will go out.

Be patient for new names. Until then, we know of a few dozen 2015 players the Cyclones have already offered. Anyone with an offer already is a priority, but below is a list of 10 2015 players we find especially important for the class:

No. 1: Joe Burrow, QB, Athens HS (OH): Mark Mangino has set his quarterback sights high in what amounts to his first full recruiting period as a Cyclones coach. Burrow, the nations' No. 26 signal-caller, has everything Mangino looks for in a quarterback — escapability, poise, accuracy on the short-and-intermediate routes. The fact that he's 6-foot-4, which deviates substantially from the 5-foot-11 frame of Todd Reesing, is gravy.


Best-Guess Timetable: Summer

Best Battle: Kentucky? Cincinnati? Maryland? Ohio?

No. 2: Antoine Albert, CB, Diablo Valley JUCO (CA): The Cyclones liked what they saw from cornerback Ken Lynn this spring. The junior will battle Sam E. Richardson and possibly a trio of incoming freshmen for a starting spot opposite Nigel Tribune. However, ISU really would have liked to land one of a handful of JUCO corners it targeted in 2014 — Danzel McDaniel signed with Kansas State, Keishawn Richardson with West Virginia and Corry O'Meally, who had academic concerns, with TCU. The Cyclones will try again in 2015 and Diablo Valley's 6-foot-2 Antoine Albert looks like a better prospect than any of those three. He'd be eligible for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Paired with Tribune, that could give the Cyclones one of the top cornerback duos in the Big 12.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: Oregon State

No. 3: Demond Tucker, NG, Copiah-Lincoln JUCO (MS): Iowa State would L-O-V-E to land a ready-to-bake nose guard. Tucker was the NJCAA player of the year as a freshman and is primed for a monster sophomore season at Co-Lin.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: Ole Miss? Mississippi State? Oklahoma?

No. 4: Flynn Nagel, WR, Lemont (IL): Very polished route-runner who's bulked up considerably in the past year, Nagel is sky-rocketing up the recruiting rankings. He won't inspire the same type of hoopla as Allen Lazard in 2014, but one could argue he's just as good.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: Illinois

"The fact that [Burrow's] 6-foot-4, which deviates substantially from the 5-foot-11 frame of Todd Reesing, is gravy"

No. 5: David Pfaff, DL, Mequon Homestead (WI): A defensive end who's grown into a defensive tackle and, well, the Cyclones are in sore need of a prep three-tech in this class after not signing any in 2014. Iowa State was one of Pfaff's earliest offers.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: Northern Illinois (Pfaff has been to campus about 10 times).

No. 6: Kenneth McGruder, S, Taylor (TX): Looked like another prospect who state and regional powers would pass over until LSU and Arkansas offered last week. If either of those schools make McGruder a priority, he's likely a goner, but the Cyclones have a puncher's chance to land the talented safety.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: LSU

No. 7: Seth Nerness, DE, Murray (IA): Nerness would tell you he could commit to the Cyclones tomorrow or he could do it in November. He's got the potential to be a very good defensive end, so the Cyclones will wait patiently while crossing their fingers that Nerness doesn't pick up an Iowa offer (he's been to Iowa City several times and hasn't, yet).


Best-Guess Timetable: Summer

Best Battle: Iowa (if it offered)

No. 8: Drayton Carlberg, OT, DeLaSalle (MN): Highly-regarded offensive tackle who, if he stays at 6-foot-5, could probably play guard in college. The Cyclones will again take a handful of linemen.


Best-Guess Timetable: Summer

Best Battle: Minnesota

No. 9: Grant Schmidt, OT, Roosevelt (SD): A monster tackle who wears his 290 pounds well. One of many "regional" 2015 tackles the Cyclones have offered, but he's above Jon Dietzen on this list because Schmidt is probably more realistic.


Best-Guess Timetable: Summer

Best Battle: Minnesota

No. 10: Kraig Howe, DT, Archbishop Alter (OH): One of ISU's earlier 2015 offers, things with Howe have been quiet — he wasn't able to attend a Junior Day in Ames — but it'd certainly be big if the Cyclones nabbed a top-40 defensive tackle.


Best-Guess Timetable: Season

Best Battle: Boston College


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