Xavier Pegues flew back to Mississippi on Sunday, did some thinking and talked with the people closest to him.
Pegues, a defensive lineman out of Itawamba Community College, departed from Ames and his weekend official visit to Iowa State with teammate and fellow defensive lineman Larry Jefferson, who committed on the spot. With a young daughter, Pegues needed to be certain of his decision.
Now the 6-foot-4 interior lineman knows where he’ll head next after he gave a verbal commitment to the Cyclones on Monday night.
“It came down to California or Iowa State, and Iowa State is closer to home and I feel like I’m home when I’m there with the coaching staff,” Pegues told AllCyclones.com. “I feel like I’m in good hands [and] me and my family will be taken care of.”
Pegues also held an offer from West Virginia. He’ll now come to Ames with not only his girlfriend and daughter, but also Jefferson, a defensive end who he has played with for the past two seasons at Itawamba.
Jefferson is a three-star defensive end who had committed to West Virginia on Oct. 1 before flipping to Iowa State on Sunday after making his visit to Ames during the weekend with Pegues.
“We’re excited,” Pegues said. “We’ve been here at JUCO going on two years, and we’ve grown to become brothers.”
Pegues is the first interior lineman taken by Iowa State in the 2015 Class and is the 13th overall commit in what figures to be a smaller class. Iowa State has taken four defensive linemen with defensive ends Anthony Nelson and Seth Nerness being the other two commits.
Pegues is different than the three others as an inside three-technique player.
“He was probably a 240-pound kid out of high school and now he’s up to 275, 280,” Itawamba coach Sean Cannon said. “You hear those comparisons to being a bull in a China shop, and that’s kind of how he is.”
The sophomore is unsure if he’ll arrive as a mid-year transfer in December, but he does expect to come in and contribute immediately.
“I’m a [junior college guy]. If they feel like I wasn’t good enough to come right in and play and waste time, which I don’t have to waste, they wouldn’t be coming for me,” Pegues said. “I feel like I’ll come in, compete and hopefully get the spot.”