Before Carson Lensing arrived at Iowa State on Saturday for his visit, just one week after he camped in Ames and days after he picked up an offer from the Cyclones, he wanted a special meeting with coach Paul Rhoads.
So Lensing, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete from South Winneshiek (Iowa) High School, talked to his recruiting coach, Todd Sturdy, about getting a meeting before the Golden Ticket Day event began. Then, he wasn’t sure what to do.
“I told him, ‘I don’t really know how this works, but I’m ready to commit,’” Lensing said of his conversation with Rhoads. “He stood up and gave me a hug and we shook hands and he was really excited. [He told the coaches], ‘We got our first one of the year.’ They were all excited.”
Iowa State’s first commitment came from the in-state product who has played defensive end/tight end in Calmar. Lensing is a lengthy athlete who performed well at the Cyclones’ June 13 camp. There, he ran a 4.81 40-yard dash.
In a meeting with Rhoads after that camp, Lensing was told he was an offer candidate, and that offer came Monday. A trip to Ames, where both of his sisters attend college, sealed the deal Saturday.
“I knew I was going to commit all along,” Lensing said. “To be the first commit in the 2016 class is unbelievable, just the feeling of pride that gives me.”
Iowa State hasn’t nailed down a position for its first commit, but after playing some defensive end at the beginning of camp in Ames, coaches moved Lensing to linebacker where they were impressed.
For now, he’s expected to be an outside linebacker.
“They told me they see me as an athlete right now,” Lensing said. “I got a bunch of coaches [saying], ‘I could see you playing here. I could see you playing there.’ Right now, we really have no idea, but I think they’re kind of looking at me as a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid.”
As the first commit of the 2016 class, the longtime Iowa State fan will now turn to the role of recruiter. He plans to attend games in 2015 and take on the role of convincing fellow recruits to make the same decision he did.
“It’s surreal. It’s unbelievable,” Lensing said of his commitment. “Growing up watching these guys and going to games and looking up to such a great school that my family goes to, I wouldn’t want it any other way. It just means a lot knowing that they wanted me and I knew I wanted them.”