The first stop Matt Campbell made on the recruiting trail came Wednesday when the newly named Iowa State coach traveled across town to stop at Ames High.
Iowa State had reached out to 2017 offensive tackle prospect Colin Newell on Tuesday night to reaffirm his offer from the previous coaching staff. On Wednesday, Campbell stopped by to shake his hand.
“That was a huge honor,” Newell said of Campbell’s first recruiting stop being to Ames High. “It shows that he wants me and that’s something that means a lot to me. I think he has the program going to another level and I’ve been seeing all the tweets and everything and know how hard they’re working. They’re giving out lots of offers and trying to propel the program to the next level. For him to stop at Ames High first is quite an honor.”
Newell had been recruited and offered by the previous staff and had been in contact with some members of the staff during the transition. Tuesday night, when his offer was reaffirmed, he heard from multiple members of the staff.
“I’ve just been DM’ing with them back and forth, a bunch of them and some of the new coaches as well,” Newell said. “I’ve been in contact with him and he said how his teams, they always have good offensive linemen and he wants me to be a part of that good offensive line to be successful in the Big 12.”
Newell’s lone offer to date comes from Iowa State, though his Signing Day is more than one year out. Iowa and others have shown interest.
With plenty of time before then, Newell is taking things in.
“I’m trying to keep an open mind right now,” said Newell, who isn’t sure if he’ll be a spring commit. “Obviously I’ve grown up in Ames so we have Iowa State here and I’ve always looked up to those guys and everything. I’m just keeping an open mind right now and seeing where it all leads to.”
Newell had shoulder surgery five weeks ago and is recovering as expected. He’s currently working on conditioning with the wrestling team and should be healthy ahead of his senior season at Ames High next fall.
For now, he's a priority for Campbell and Co.
“He's definitely made that clear that he wants me to be a Cyclone and he’s going to make the program the best he can and I can be part of something really special,” Newell said.