Several weeks after Iowa State had evaluated him in-person and soon after offered a scholarship, Sierra College (Calif.) offensive lineman Derrick Achayo woke up Tuesday morning with a decision.
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive lineman, who will be a December graduate with two years of eligibility, wanted to commit to Iowa State.
“I woke up today counting my blessings and I was thinking that Iowa State, that’s big football,” Achayo said Tuesday night after committing. “That’s the Big 12 Conference, one of the top five conferences and I was thinking about getting more competition and I decided Iowa State will be the best place for me to get competition going up against big schools like Baylor and TCU.”
Iowa State had been sending Achayo letters throughout his season at Sierra College before Louis Ayeni evaluated him Sept. 26 in California. Iowa State offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy is the lead recruiter and the Cyclones offered shortly after seeing him.
Achayo, who held offers from Stephen F. Austin, Weber State and Georgia State in addition to Iowa State, was also receiving interest from Kansas State, Arizona State, Boise State and Washington State among others before committing. Hee projects as an offensive tackle, and Iowa State likes his upside.
“Coach Sturdy, the first time I talked to him, said they needed a little bit of help with pass [protection] and that’s one of my biggest strengths right there,” Achayo said. “They just told me they’ll help me get bigger, stronger and faster. I’ve seen most of their facilities [online] and I kind of fell in love with it just by looking at it.”
Achayo’s research has been solely based on conversations with coaches and looking at pictures and information online. He plans to take his official visit to Iowa State the first weekend of December.
What he likes most so far is the potential to grow in Ames.
“I’m definitely still raw. I’m still growing, I’m learning the game and right now my biggest strength is pass [protection] but I feel like I can definitely get better,” Achayo said. “The biggest improvement I need is my run-blocking. I feel like I can be more dominating and be the type of guy who can come off the ball and drive the person in front of me to the dirt. That’s who I want to be and I feel like Iowa State has the resources I need to get there.”