There's a rare lack of overlap in Iowa this class, a byproduct of the two big schools preferring different flavors of football players to suit the styles of their respective conferences and, crudely, liking some guys more than others.
Case in point: The Iowa Hawkeyes have five in-state commits for the 2015 class, o-line brothers Landan and Levi Paulsen, guard Jake Newborg and quarterbacks Ryan Boyle and Drew Cook. Paul Rhoads' Cyclones didn't offer any of the five (they did offer Brady Reiff, who hails from South Dakota).
The Cyclones picked up their first in-state commit of the 2015 class Monday morning, offensive guard/center Bryce Meeker, who hasn't been offered by Iowa. Iowa State is also hoping to reel in offensive tackle Julian Good-Jones and defensive ends Seth Nerness and Anthony Nelson.
The Hawkeyes haven't offered any of the three.
Prairie HS OL Bryce Meeker
"If Iowa's not gonna jump on some of us, I feel like Iowa State will," said newest Cyclones commit Meeker, who camped at Iowa but was not offered. "Iowa State's a good college."
Iowa State is hoping Meeker is just the first in-state domino to fall for them. Nelson, of Waukee, was offered Saturday. A Hawkeye legacy, Nelson camped at Iowa the day after working out in Ames and was not offered.
"I think it's a great opportunity. I feel like [ISU] will find a lot of good kids here" — Bryce Meeker
Then there's Nerness, who was offered last fall, and Good-Jones, who picked up an offer during March 8 Junior Day.
"I'm very close to both of them," Meeker said. "I'm definitely gonna put a word in their ear but it's up to them, what's the best place for them, but I'll definitely call them and talk to them a little bit."
Nerness has been coy during his recruitment but goes way back with Meeker, playing against him in AAU basketball since the eighth grade.
"He's worked hard," Nerness said of Meeker on Monday.
The Cyclones coaching staff concurs.
"I went [to Ames] my sophomore and junior year and they said the improvement from those years was just outstanding and they felt like I'm ready and my [potential] is crazy," Meeker said, recounting the conversation with Rhoads in which he picked up an offer. "I wanted to commit on the spot but I felt I should settle down, sleep on it, talk to some people then decide."
If Meeker's commitment has the expected impact and eventually snowballs into the pledges of Nerness and Good-Jones — Nelson is a separate case here, but the Cyclones are his top offer — the Cyclones will correct 2014's blip (one in-state signee). The class that produced Allen Lazard was the first since 2007 that the Cyclones failed to sign at least three Iowa prospects.
With the 2016 in-state class shaping up to be a strong one, the momentum is necessary.
"I think it's a great opportunity," Meeker said. "I feel like [ISU] will find a lot of good kids here."