No Pfaff; What's Next?

Iowa State suffered a tough blow Tuesday when David Pfaff was offered by and committed to his childhood favorite Wisconsin. Head inside as we target six high school defensive tackles Iowa State is looking at

Iowa State was the perceived front-runner for three-star defensive lineman David Pfaff, with the provision that a Wisconsin or Michigan State offer would be too tough to beat.

Pfaff, the Mequon (WI) Homestead defensive end, who grew up a Badgers fan, ended his recruitment Tuesday night, posting on his Facebook page that Wisconsin had offered earlier in the evening, and there was no way he could turn that down.

"I made my decision years ago that I wanted to be a Badger," the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Pfaff said to Scout.com on Wednesday.

Iowa State had been in on Pfaff from the very beginning, becoming the first BCS school to offer him at Junior Days in March. At that time, it was unclear if the Big Ten schools Pfaff grew up rooting for would deem him big enough — he'll be slightly undersized as an end in Wisconsin's 3-4 — and the Cyclones felt good about their chances as Pfaff and his father had an emotional moment at the Bergstrom Football Complex celebrating their first big offer.

So what now? First, let's get a few things out of the way: Despite ISU's struggles to recruit high schools defensive tackles, this isn't a whiff. In taking the next step as a football program and upping their recruiting standards, the Cyclones will be subject to disappointment when a lifelong favorite swoops in with an offer. Iowa State is correct in setting its sights high at the beginning of the 2015 recruiting period; there's ample time to zone in on the next target at the position.

After not signing a single high school d-tackle in 2014, the Cyclones need to nab at least two in 2015. Pfaff, an end at Mequon Homestead, would've been a gap-slashing three-technique in Wally Burnham's 4-3 defense or an undersized, albeit quick, end in the 3-4 "odd" looks ISU is toying with.

Let's locate a few of those types of players — high school defensive tackles — already on ISU's radar

  • Kraig Howe, Archbishop (OH) Alter. Offer? Yes. Prognosis: Haven't heard from Howe in a while and I don't think Iowa State is especially high on his list.
  • Bryce English, DeSoto (TX). Offer? Yes. Prognosis: Iowa State offered earlier in the month. Former Texas commit is thought to be leaning toward TCU. Cat-quick three-technique, though undersized. Cyclones need to get him on campus.
  • Marlon Gonzalez, North Fort Myers (FL). Offer? Yes. Prognosis: One-time Florida State commit. Likes Iowa State a lot. Very early but Cyclones are among a new wave of contenders — Arizona, Cincinnati, Tennessee.
  •     Marlon Gonzalez. 

     

  • Quay Picou, Buford (GA). Offer? Yes. Prognosis: Has a top list that does not include Iowa State.
  • Quentez Johnson, Cedar Grove (GA). Offer? Yes. Prognosis: Recently withdrew his verbal pledge from Miami (FL). Has a ton of offers.
  • Micah Dew-Treadway, Bolingbrook (IL). Offer? No. Prognosis: Great friends with the Huff twins, Jacob and Julian. Iowa State hasn't offered yet. If it does, it might pull the trigger on all three at the same time.

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