Having been through the recruiting process once, Pearl River C.C. (Miss.) receiver Matt Eaton came to his decision quickly.
When Iowa State offered the 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior college receiver within the last week, he quickly developed a relationship and made his decision. The likes of Toledo, Bowling Green, UMass and Arkansas-Pine Bluff quickly offered this past week after the Cyclones, and Michigan State has shown strong interest, but during his second recruiting process, Eaton has already heard enough.
Friday night he called Iowa State coach Matt Campbell to commit.
“Mainly it was because I had been through the process before,” Eaton said of what prompted the quick commitment. “I’m 20-years old now and being a young 18-year-old, I always had the mindset of just trying to get all the offers I possibly could. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have 50 to 100 offers, you can only choose one school. That’s why I wanted to get it over before the season started.”
Eaton arrived at Pearl River in Mississippi this spring after spending two seasons at Temple, where he signed out of high school as a member of the 2014 class. He appeared in four games as a true freshman but received a medical hardship due to a sprained ACL before playing in three games last fall before transferring this semester.
Eaton will play for Pearl River this fall and graduate in December with two years to play two for the Cyclones beginning in 2017.
“Coach [Bryan] Gasser had come down today to see me,” Eaton said Friday night. “The relationship was there and I already liked the school and everything he was saying. They really have a good thing going there being that they’re coming from Toledo. This coaching staff knows how to win. I plan on going there and having an opportunity to play early.”
The message in the last week from Gasser and assistant Alex Golesh has been that Eaton could contribute immediately upon his arrival. The Cyclones will graduate receiver Dondre Daley after the upcoming 2016 season and Eaton’s large frame could fill the void on the edge alongside the program’s top playmaker.
“Moving forward just to compliment Allen Lazard, their top guy right now,” Eaton said of the initial message from Iowa State. “They want me to come in and take some heat off of him and things like that.”
Eaton, who had one reception for 11 yards last season in limited action, has never visited Iowa State but heard enough nonetheless. He plans to visit unofficially this summer before taking an official visit early next season.
For now, his recruitment has quickly wrapped up.
“They’re the only school that really has been recruiting me the right way,” Eaton said. “Recruiting is a business, I understand that, but they were the only ones that built a relationship with me and calling me and things like that. Me and Coach Gasser, we had great conversations about football and what he intends my career being there.
“They had jumped in on me fairly quick. Being they are Power 5, I didn’t think I would get Power 5 offers until the fall. They were the first to jump out and that’s just a credit to their interest level in me.”