Cyclones Get 'High Motor' in Jefferson

Iowa State flipped the commitment of JUCO defensive end Larry Jefferson and picked up a 'high motor' player off the edge says his coach at Itawamba

In flipping the commitment of Larry Jefferson, Iowa State has added a long, athletic defensive end to its 2015 Class that will likely be expected to immediately contribute upon his arrival in Ames.

Jefferson, who is somewhere between 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 and sits at about 230 pounds, has drawn more interest than any other player at Itawamba (MS) Community College this season. Offers have rolled in from the likes of Kansas State, California, West Virginia and South Florida among others.

“He gets a lot of attention. He probably gets the most mail of anybody here,” Itawamba coach Sean Cannon told “Every day you get up and we go check the mail and there’s probably 15 or 20 letters addressed to him. That’s kind of the good thing about playing junior college football, it does give you a chance to be re-recruited.”

Jefferson committed to West Virginia on Oct. 1, but decided to make an official visit to Iowa State this past weekend with teammate and fellow defensive lineman Xavier Pegues. Hours before he was set to head back to Mississippi, the sophomore had flipped his commitment and given a verbal pledge to the Cyclones.

Jefferson, who is expected to enroll at the end of the semester in December, didn’t immediately respond to a request for an interview, but his coach said Iowa State has long been in the picture. Seeing the facilities and atmosphere firsthand prior to Iowa State’s 37-30 win against Toledo proved to be plenty in changing his mind.

“I got a text last night from one of the coaches at West Virginia about it and I told them, ‘Look, man, I have no idea,’” Cannon said. “I think Iowa State was in the back of his mind the whole time. He told me this summer that’s where he was leaning to go. I think those guys have done a good job of recruiting, to be honest with you. They send some awesome mail to him. Little things like that matter to kids.”

In becoming Iowa State’s third defensive end commit in the 2015 Class — joining high school commits Anthony Nelson (Waukee) and Seth Nerness (SouthLake Christian Academy) — Jefferson will be the one expected to impact the team immediately. As a freshman last season, he recorded 32 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks.

Jefferson is quick off the edge and brings a high motor to the table.

“He’s very long and lean, the type of player that everybody looks for nowadays,” Cannon said. “The big thing that he does is he hustles. He plays hard. He’s not a lazy guy on the football field. He’s one of those guys that plays with a high motor and he’s a high-energy type guy and he practices that way. Sometimes kids have a hard time understanding that — putting how you practice to how you play — but he does a good job of doing that.

“He should give [Iowa State] a good presence off the edge, a good pass rush and give you a long, athletic body that’s going to do some good things out there on the edge.”

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