Since Matt Campbell and Co. arrived late last year they have worked diligently in recruiting to reshape the offensive line under the tutelage of Tom Manning.
The Cyclones signed five offensive lineman in the initial 2016 class, have added three in this 2017 class and already have one for the 2018 class. Now the staff is turning its focus to a top target to round out the group at the tackle position.
“[The message is] that I'm the guy who can lead the team and go win some championships,” said four-star Caleb Chandler. “They like the way I play and believe I can be the guy who can get things started at Iowa State.”
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Chandler out of Jefferson (Ga.) is the No. 18 overall guard in the 2017 class (sixth-best in the South), though Iowa State likes him at tackle. With mostly interior linemen committed to date, Chandler is a top priority.
Chandler, who holds offers from the likes of Florida, Mississippi State, Minnesota, Louisville, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Maryland and others in addition to Iowa State, has increasingly been made a focal point in Iowa State’s recruiting plans in the three months since the offer.
“My coach said that they said I'm No. 1 on the recruiting board for my class and that means so much to me,” Chandler said of Iowa State. “I can't wait to go up and visit and I believe I'll fall in love with the place.”
That visit is now set. While Chandler is still working on summer plans with multiple schools, he is planning to visit Iowa State on June 17.
Chandler is in daily contact with either Campbell or Manning and Iowa State stopped at Jefferson High School twice during the spring evaluation period to see him, most recently last week when Manning stopped by.
“[They like] the way I play and how physical I am, I move really well for my size, and I do think I'll play tackle, but I'll play anywhere on the line,” Chandler said. “The thing I do best is finish blocks. I love having pancakes on the line.”
Chandler currently plans to make his decision one week after his senior season comes to an end this fall. Iowa State, meanwhile, will continue its strong push.
“It's crazy how much [the relationship] has grown,” Chandler said. “I talk to at least one of them every day. Our relationship is so strong and they got me to the point where I can't wait to go to Iowa State and see them and visit the campus.”