Friday was perhaps the lowest of low points for Iowa State in this year's recruiting conquest. Flynn Nagel, the nation's No. 43 wide receiver, called ISU graduate assistant Derek Day around dinnertime and told him the Cyclones had been edged out by Duke: He'd be committing to the Blue Devils.
Iowa State, second place again. In recent weeks, Joey Burrow, a four-star quarterback, pledged to Ohio State the moment the Buckeyes offered. If they hadn't, he'd likely have gone to Iowa State. Defensive tackle David Pfaff made the call to his childhood dream school Wisconsin, the moment the Badgers offered. The Cyclones — Pfaff's first FBS offer — were runners-up.
Monday morning, the plot twisted. Bryce Meeker snapped Iowa State's months-long recruiting dry spell, jumping on an offer he earned during Saturday's camp and calling head coach Paul Rhoads with the good news. The next day, Waukee defensive end Anthony Nelson did the same. Meeker and Nelson, who give ISU two in-state commits in its current class of three for 2015, grew up Hawkeye fans and each camped at Iowa this month, to no avail.
Meeker, a 6-foot-5, 295-pounder, is viewed by ISU as the most versatile interior lineman in the state, with a future at either center or guard. Nelson, a hair over 6-foot-6, is huge for a defensive end, and at 215 is undoubtedly a better fit for the Big 12 than the Big Ten. He'll add weight, but he'll never be a run-stopping force.
Voila. Just like that, Iowa State is on a mini recruiting roll. Before the calendar turns to July, there ought to be more good news. The Cyclones have camps June 14 and June 20, attended by prospects hailing from as far as Texas and Florida, then an elite Junior Day on June 21, which potentially could result in a few more commitments for the 2015 class.
Iowa State Leans
If those three committed to Iowa State before July, it'd give the Cyclones six commits: The quota at defensive end would be filled, with two in-state kids they can keep an eye on. A guard/center and an offensive tackle in two, ISU could be selective with one or two out-of-state line prospects. In Tucker, the Cyclones would have the nation's best JUCO defender. Add in the first commit, weakside linebacker Bobby McMillen, and ISU would be looking at four front-seven defenders on the board and two offensive linemen. Not a bad way to begin a class.
In tomorrow's Cyclones Scoop we'll look at a handful of players who, while not considered ISU leans, have a 50 percent chance or better of ending up in Ames, in our opinion.