The Iowa State recruitment of Canton (Mich.) hybrid linebacker/defensive end Jalen Cochran in some ways extends back several years.
Matt Campbell and his Toledo staff began recruiting the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Cochran during his sophomore season and was his first offer. When Campbell arrived in Ames, Cochran was offered on Day 1 and the Cyclones quickly became a favorite.
Now, Cochran is focused on Iowa State and Miami (OH).
“As of right now it’s just those two,” Cochran said of his recruitment. “After my Iowa State visit I’m going to take some time and see what school I want to pick. But as of right now it’s between those two. I’ve been talking to other schools, like Arizona and Michigan State, on and off, but as of right now it’s those two.”
Cochran holds offers from the likes of Iowa, Toledo and Miami (OH) among others and is ranked by Scout as the No. 30 overall outside linebacker in 2016. His finalists come down to location and an opportunity to play Power 5 football.
“At Miami (OH), it’s far but it’s not too far so I felt kind of comfortable there,” Cochran said. “I personally, I kind of want to go far away, so I just want to see how Iowa State is. I know my family is trying to see me play, so that could affect my decision. I’m taking my mom down with me and stuff, so I guess me and her, we’ll just see how it goes.”
Iowa State is recruiting the versatile Cochran as a hybrid who can help in the pass rush as a defensive end but can also play outside linebacker and drop into coverage similar to how he was recruited to Toledo.
Cochran played both positions in high school and is enticed by the opportunity to play several spots at Iowa State.
“They want me to play ‘Leo,’ so it’s like a hybrid linebacker playing in coverage and I’ll be a pass-rusher too on third down,” Cochran said. “So it’s more like a hybrid linebacker type of player. It’s like what I do now in my high school scheme, I kind of play that there, so I wouldn’t have to adjust to as much. I think I’m more comfortable playing a little bit of both, being a hybrid type of player.”
The Iowa State trip will allow Cochran to meet up with two Toledo prospects he camped with — receiver prospect Jalen Martin and defensive end commit Eyioma Uwazurike — and get a closer look at what Iowa State offers in terms of facilities and education.
Cochran already feels comfortable with the relationships.
“Probably the day Coach Campbell took the head job I got a call from him,” Cochran said. “They’ve been recruiting me since my sophomore year in high school so they really haven’t stopped. It was my first offer at Toledo, so it was just nice to see even though he moved he still offered me and he still thinks I’m one of his top guys and stuff like that.
“I pretty much know the staff, so it’s not like I don’t know the people. I just want to make sure if I did go here if I would fit in or if I’m comfortable.”
Cochran expects to make a decision soon.
“After the Iowa State visit I’m going to sit down with my family and see what I want to do,” Cochran said. “I’m probably going to take the week and think about it.”