Iowa State will kickstart its 2014 season Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium, but the season-opener will also begin the road to continue building.
Six recruits will be in attendance taking in the North Dakota State game for official visits Saturday, including four JUCO players. Iowa State already has 10 commits for its 2015 Class, and despite what is expected to be a smaller recruiting class, Saturday’s visitors come at positions of need.
- Antoine Albert, Cornerback
The three-star JUCO cornerback received an ISU offer early in the 2015 evaluation period and will now get a strong look at Iowa State. His offers have grown since the Cyclones extended one and include Oregon State, Tennessee, Arizona and Washington State among others.
The Cyclones figure to add a JUCO cornerback who could contribute immediately, and that has been one strong pitch to the 6-foot-2 Albert.
"Playing time is the biggest thing for me — they always bring that up,” Albert told AllCyclones.com in mid-August. “[Schools] sign a lot of players but I know I can out-work anyone."
Albert has already made an official visit to Oregon State, which could be the current favorite, and will make an unofficial visit to Beaverton, Ore., in September. He also plans to visit Tennessee in October before making a decision on where to enroll.
- Chris French, Tight end
The Cyclones are almost certain to add a JUCO tight end, and French and Matt Morin each hold offers from both Iowa State and Illinois. French will be the first to visit.
French, at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, made 32 catches for 364 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games last season for Saddleback. This weekend’s visit is currently the only one planned for French, although Illinois is currently working out details of a potential date and time for the tight end to visit.
The football facilities have stood out to French in photos, and he will now have a chance to see them firsthand. Could he commit at weekend’s end if all goes well?
“If I did have a really good feeling about it and knew it was a perfect fit for me, I would be pretty confident in committing,” French told AllCyclones.com. “Having that said, I would still like to go visit Illinois and just check that out because they’ve been recruiting me hard, too.”
- Darreyl Patterson, Cornerback
Patterson doesn’t figure to make a decision on where he will play next year until the conclusion of his senior season, but the high school corner out of Lawton, Okla., will begin the trail with a visit to Iowa State.
The 6-foot, three-star defensive back, who is a former teammate of ISU running back Mike Warren, has offers from Kansas State, Arizona State, Washington State and Tulsa among others. He will make visits to Washington State and Arizona State later this fall.
This visit to Ames, he said, will allow him to hear firsthand from coaches what they see in his future in addition to seeing his first action at Jack Trice.
“I’m trying to see how the games are, the atmosphere, how the people get involved and things like that and the campus and everything,” Patterson told AllCyclones.com.
- Darrell Stewart, Wide receiver
The Boise State commit out of Houston Nimitz in Texas has received an abundance of offers from schools including Colorado, Michigan State, LSU, Georgia and Texas Tech among others, adding up to double-digits offers overall. One of those is from Iowa State, where he will arrive for the weekend.
While Stewart plays both sides of the ball — safety on defense and receiver on offense — Iowa State has looked at him as a receiver along with most other schools.
"Most of the times, coaches want me as a wide receiver,” Stewart told SCOUT in May. “I'm very aggressive around the ball. When I get the ball in my hands I make things happen. But I can go both ways and I'm a dog. Coaches also like that I am a leader. I want the ball and I am going to get positive yards.
- Norman Moi Moi, Defensive line
After sitting out the 2013 season, Moi Moi turned down offers from UTEP and Oregon State, who wanted him to come in and redshirt this season. Moi Moi instead remained at Mt. SAC to play this season and received an Iowa State offer this summer.
In 2012 as a freshman at Mt. SAC, while playing along the defensive line, Moi Moi recorded 24 tackles and five sacks. Iowa State is likely to take one or two defensive tackles, but will likely wait to hear from Demond Tucker before deciding.
- Loni Fa, Defensive line
Little is known about Fa, but what is known is that Fa is another target on the defensive line and had 16 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in nine games last season for Mt. SAC. Along the same lines of Moi Moi, Iowa State could potentially add multiple defensive tackles given its current depth.
UPDATE: Moi Moi did not make the trip to Ames due to an injury.