As Iowa State attempts to build an offensive line for the future, it has turned some of its attention to in-state prospect Zach Dykstra.
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Spirit Lake (IA) is considered one of the top in-state linemen in 2017 and is an early priority for the Iowa State coaching staff. Dykstra holds offers from Iowa State, Colorado State and South Dakota State while Iowa and Northern Iowa have shown interest.
Saturday, Dykstra visited Ames for the first time since the January offer.
“I think they were upfront and not going around anything,” Dykstra said of his conversations with coaches. “They just told me it’s not going to be easy going to play anywhere and it’s going to be hard but it’s also going to be really fun and I’m going to have good experiences if I work hard and I can do good things. They really want to flip around the line and how that’s going because it hasn’t been going well the last few years and they really want to change that and have the line lead their team to do better things in the next few years.”
Iowa State’s hope is that Dykstra is part of that.
After adding three high schools prospects in the 2016 class, Iowa State will need several more in the 2017 class as it losses multiple linemen next season and currently has a thin group of underclassmen. Dykstra projects as a tackle, but coaches like his flexibility.
“They said they like how I play,” Dykstra said. “They said I play pretty aggressive and they like how they could play me at any of the positions on the line.”
Dykstra remains in the early stage of his recruitment and currently only has plans for one other Junior Day stop, to Iowa sometime in March. He has been invited back to one of Iowa State’s spring practices or scrimmages and also hopes to take advantage of that offer.
The in-state lineman arrived early Saturday and had one-on-one meetings with coach Matt Campbell and offensive coordinator/O-line coach Tom Manning.
“They seemed like nice people,” Dykstra said of Campbell and Manning. “They were really genuine and it seemed like they were telling the truth and meaning what they say and if I went there they would actually care about me and be interested in how everything is going in other parts of my life other than football like my schooling and they seemed like they would be invested in those kind of things.”
In addition to potential in-state stops in the weeks ahead, Dykstra also plans to attend camps this summer ahead of his senior season. For now, the Iowa State offer is one that has him both excited and relieved.
“It was a great feeling,” Dykstra said of the Iowa State offer. “It was a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders and a lot of worrying and anxiousness of if it’s going to come or not and it did and it was really relieving. To have it be that good of a school and that big of a school was a really good feeling that they liked what they saw in me.”