National Signing Day has now drawn within two weeks as Iowa State continuies to work on finishing up its 2015 class.
The Cyclones currently have 16 commits in their 2015 class, and that number is likely to grow to at least 18 and potentially 20 in an ideal situation for the team. With the recent commitment from receiver Carson Epps and the signing of mid-year transfer Jay Jones, there are four key postions Iowa State remains focused on as Signing Day draws near.
The areas of focus for Iowa State rest primarily in the trenches. The Cyclones continue to target an offensive tackle, defensive tackles, a defensive end and a running back.
Let's take a look.
When it comes to offensive tackles, Iowa State prefers to add a JUCO player who could contribute immediately next season. It appears the Cyclones have found that player in JUCO offensive tackle Jaypee Philbert.
Philbert is a 6-foot-6, 305-pound lineman who visited Iowa State this past weekend. He tells AllCyclones.com that he will visit South Florida and Colorado State this weekend and then Kansas next weekend. However, Philbert said barring any changes, his plan is to commit to Iowa State on Feb. 1. Currently, the biggest competition for Philbert's services is Kansas.
Philbert would arrive with three years to play three.
Iowa State already has defensive tackles in this class in the form of JUCOs Demond Tucker (a mid-year transfer) and Bobby Leath (a May graduate), but the Cyclones have been targeting a number of high school tackles in recent months.
Sitting atop that list is Jamal Milan, who visited this past season and had Iowa State No. 1 for quite some time. Milan then visited Indiana and slotted the Hoosiers No. 1. Following a visit this past weekend to Minnesota, Milan tells AllCyclones.com that he no longer has a ranking, but that Iowa State remains in the mix. He will visit Illinois this weekend and isn't expected to make a decision until Signing Day on Feb. 4.
Other tackles have been difficult to get a read on. G.G. Robinson visited Iowa State late in the season but is committed to Louisville. It seems all but certain Robinson won't be headed to Iowa State. Meanwhile, Robert Windsor picked up an offer back in December, but hasn't visited and continues to draw interest elsewhere.
For awhile, word on defensive ends went quiet, but it appears Iowa State is targeting at least one in the form of JUCO Deonte Reynolds. He visited earlier this season, but things quieted shortly thereafter.
Nonetheless, Iowa State is still showing interest and taking a shot at adding another well-regarded JUCO to bolster its defensive line from the onset of next season. Reynolds is expected to be visited by coaches in California in the coming weeks.
Iowa State almost certainly has multiple running back options after Devine Ozigbo flipped to Nebraska earlier this month, but the lone name to surface to this point is Joshua Thomas.
Thomas was offered shortly after Ozigbo flipped and made a visit to Iowa State immediately, coming this past weekend. It's hard to get a read on Thomas as he's a quiet kid. The quest to add a running back to this class could come down to the wire.