Iowa State has made it no secret that Spirit Lake (IA) offensive tackle Zach Dykstra currently sits atop its wish list as it works to rebuild its offensive line.
The Cyclones were the first to offer the 6-foot-6 lineman before his recruitment heated up this spring and the likes of Iowa, Miami (FL), Colorado State and Southern Miss joined the mix. Dykstra visited Ames for the second time Saturday, where he had the chance to meet again with new Iowa State coach Matt Campbell and offensive line coach Tom Manning.
“I liked both of them down there a lot, they’re pretty good to me and it sounds like they’re pretty excited about me and they want me to come down there pretty bad to play for them,” Dykstra said. “That’s always a good feeling.”
How does Dykstra know he’s the priority?
“[Coach Manning] pretty much came out and said it,” Dykstra said.
Dykstra visited Iowa State in February, but his recruitment has shifted since with the new Power 5 offers from Iowa and Miami. He has now visited all three schools and is currently focused on building relationships with those coaches.
Michigan State and Stanford (pending his ACT score) are two new schools showing interest, but neither has reached the offer stage. Dykstra will visit Iowa for the second time on April 15 before shutting down his spring trips.
“I’m going to try to make a decision before the season starts,” he said.
To date, Iowa has commitments from two in-state tackles in the 2017 class while Iowa State picked up its first lineman Saturday with Ames native Colin Newell, who could play inside. Dykstra said he is keeping an eye on those numbers, but isn’t overly focused on who else interested schools are adding in this class.
“I look at that a little bit, but it’s not a major importance to me,” Dykstra said. “I think if I work hard I can do what I want to do.”
Dykstra, who is currently ranked as the No. 61 overall tackle in the 2017 class, including the No. 13 tackle in the Midwest, was impressed with what he saw Saturday from coaches during Iowa State’s first spring scrimmage.
“I liked the practice, it was intense and everybody was getting pretty fired up and it was fun to see,” Dykstra said. “I liked the way both [Campbell and Manning] coached a lot.”
With a decision coming sometime before his senior season in August, Dykstra will soon focus on feeling out his top schools.
“It’s definitely a great feeling to be wanted that much. They told me [Saturday] that that was pretty much the case [that I’m No. 1],” Dykstra said. “I spent quite a bit of time with them. I talked to them quite awhile before their practice and then I sat down with Coach Manning after practice and just kind of said goodbye to Coach Campbell after.”