Cyclones Scoop

Iowa State has a great shot with four-star QB Joey Burrow, unless ... Also inside this week's Cyclones Scoop: Interviews with DE Joshua Little and S Obe Fortune, who hold ISU offers, updates on a few other players and an overseas scouting report on ISU signee Georgios Tsalmpouris that might temper expectations in Year 1


With the likely return of Devron Moore to the football team, don't get any ideas about Rodney Coe. The dismissed defensive tackle, who wanted to transfer to an FBS team and redshirt this fall, told me earlier this week he hadn't landed anywhere yet (Akron, he had said earlier, did offer). Grades are an issue for Coe.


  • Let's start with Iowa State's top target at the moment, 2015 Athens The Plains (Ohio) quarterback Joey Burrow, a 6-foot-4, four-star signal-caller whose recruitment sits on the precipice, as far as Iowa State is concerned. Ohio State and Alabama are interested and if either were to offer, the Cyclones' chances at landing Mark Mangino's apparent first choice would be in free fall.

    Alabama has been to Ohio to see Burrow throw and might try to get him to camp this summer. The bigger threat, for now, is Ohio State, which seems to be juggling whether to offer Burrow or Travis Waller, of California. The Buckeyes are flippant with their quarterback offers — 12 to 2015 prospects, six presently uncommitted — so Burrow's far from their one-and-only, as he is to ISU, but if they offer a legitimate "yes, you can commit" scholarship offer, it'd be very tough for Burrow to pass up.

    All eyes are on Columbus and, more specifically, old friend Tom Herman.

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  • Millwood (OK) defensive end Joshua Little began the week with an Iowa State offer, receiving a phone call from Paul Rhoads after striking up a relationship with coach Mark Mangino during the eval period.

    "Coach Rhoads, he said my explosion, high-motor and intensity [are something they like]," Little said Thursday.

    A 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end with offers from Purdue, Texas State and Washington State, Little doesn't know much about ISU, other than its Big 12 conference affiliation.

    "It'd be fun," Little said of the opportunity to play in his home state of Oklahoma once a year.

    Little, who grew up an Oklahoma State fan, will camp at Louisville and Kansas State this summer and says it's too early to begin handicapping his recruitment or projecting a timeline.

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  • Abdul Beecham, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound offensive guard from Converse Judson (TX) saw Tommy Mangino today in school.
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  • Three-star defensive lineman Andrew Ivie of Pasco (FL) High tells me Iowa State has been to a few practices and his spring game during the evaluation period. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Ivie, who profiles as a future defensive tackle, has offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Wisconsin and others but says he is "for sure" open to other schools, including ones that haven't offered just yet, where Iowa State slots.
  • It was on the screen of a high school coach's phone that Obe Fortune learned of his first offer.

    The Milton (GA) two-way player, a wide receiver and safety, Fortune went "crazy" when he was shown a text message from Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads to a Milton assistant, saying the Cyclones were extending an offer to Fortune.

    "At first, I couldn't believe it," Fortune said Thursday of the offer, which he recalls came in late April. "Because I finally got my first offer. I was filled with joy and I felt blessed."

        Milton (GA) ATH Obe Fortune. 


    Several other schools have since joined in, including Big 5 programs Minnesota and Wake Forest.

    "They were my first offer," Fortune said of ISU. "It really does mean a lot to me."

    The biggest pitch from the Cyclones' standpoint, however, might be their engineering program. Fortune chatted with secondary coach Maurice Linguist the other night about Iowa State's College of Engineering.

    "That was my first real talk with him, because when he came [by the school] I couldn't really speak to him or anything (bump)," Fortune said. "From what we talked about, Iowa State seems like a cool place. It's kind of far up north, kinda cold, but they have a good engineering program."

    Fortune thinks he'd like to commit before the season starts, but that'd be dependent on his ability to see as many far-away schools as possible.

    "I kind of do want to get it out of the way — it's gonna be kind of hard to get up to all the north schools, but I'll try to make it up there to see if I can," he said. "I want to see if I'm interested in going up and committing before the season starts, but I'm really interested in ISU, especially its engineering program."

    Fortune is being recruited by schools as a receiver and safety but the 6-foot, 175-pounder likely projects as a defensive back in college.

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  • If Iowa State can land Seth Nerness (Murray) and Julian Good-Jones (Cedar Rapids), it'll be very pleased with its in-state efforts in 2015. Iowa State is the only offer for each player. Good-Jones, the offensive tackle, will camp at Iowa State in July but will also go to Iowa (will the Hawkeyes offer?), Kansas State and Minnesota, as well as — plot twist — Oregon State in June.

    Nerness, the defensive end, continues to play coy. He's been to Ames plenty, so he's not a shoo-in to camp at ISU, surprising as it would be. There are a few national schools Nerness would like to get to, as he says he has something to prove, but he'd prefer those plans to stay a secret for now.

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  • Julian Jones of Westlake High School in Atlanta had Maurice Linguist by his school Thursday and believes an Iowa State offer "might be coming soon."
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  • In similar news, Trinity Catholic (FL) linebacker Marquis Hendrix saw Wally Burnham at his school not too long ago and, I quote: "Think an offer is coming soon."
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  • 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end Zach Sattman of Lee's Summit West in Missouri saw Brandon Blaney this eval period.
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  • Iowa State still has coaches on the road but will gather at the end of May as a staff to share notes and observations from the eval period, which began April 15. At that time, pending approval from Paul Rhoads, the staff will send out a flurry of offers. I'll be out of the country, doing some scouting in Cabo, but the team will be on top of all the news.

    In the meantime, I wanted everyone to be equipped with an easy offers list, as the recruiting board must undergo some re-coding. If there's a surprise commit, he should be on your radar (this info is also accessible by clicking on Football Recruiting > Prospects and fiddling with the filters.

    Click Here for Offer Sheet


I asked Kostas Psimoulis, Director of Scouting for, for his general thoughts on Iowa State signee (and fellow Greece native) Georgios Tsalmpouris:

"Tsalmpouris is a 7-foot-1 thin power forward with good touch, range and coordination for a player his size. He's skilled enough for his age, can pass, has decent stroke and feel for the game. Tsalmpouris runs the floor well and is capable of spotting up on the perimeter or flashing to the high post. He's very thin and struggles when playing in contact something that will become more evident in the grind college game. I think of him as a four year college player as he needs time and work in the weight room in order to have his frame improved. He lacks strength in order to get on the floor and be a contributor right away, however he's the type of guy whom can be developed by a solid program.

"There will be some positional concerns in my opinion as Tsalmpouris lacks the strength to defend and rebound in the paint, whereas he's not that skilled to be a consistent perimeter threat. Depends on his development and how much he'll manage to improve his skills and his frame. He's a good character guy and has solid bloodline (his father was a former basketball player and now a youth basketball coach). Lately he draw huge attention from the Greek powerhouses and I won't be surprised if he finally signs a pro contract if the right offer comes.

"Yes, I think that the adjustment to the college game will be tough, at least the first season. The conference is tough and Tsalmpouris will struggle against athletic and strong dudes night in and night out. Nevertheless, if the coaching staff shows patience Tsalmpouris could be a good options in the next years."

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