There was no indicator that preceded the phone call Arizona Western cornerback Keisean Nixon received in early March from Iowa State assistant D.K. McDonald.
The Cyclones had apparently become aware of the 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback before many others and McDonald called one day and gave Nixon the first offer of his recruitment. It was far from his last as the likes of Illinois, Kansas State, California, Oregon State and BYU among others have joined in since.
In the nearly three months since the offer, Nixon has been in frequent contact with the Cyclones and during the weekend he scheduled his first official visit that will bring him to Iowa State the weekend of Sept. 24 for the San Jose State game.
“Iowa State, that was my first offer, so that was a blessing in disguise. I just always stayed in contact, so they stayed in contact with me,” Nixon said. “I just felt like I was comfortable with the coaches so I just set up my first official visit there. They like my character and how I play my game and stuff like that.
"My boy D-Payne goes there, so they want me and him to play there.”
That would be 2016 cornerback signee D’Andre Payne who arrived at Iowa State from Arizona Western in January as a mid-year signee. After a strong spring, Payne has put himself in position to play immediately this fall.
Nixon, who will graduate in December with three years to play two, has similar ambitions when he arrives at his next destination.
“They just want me to come play early, so that’s a big thing for me is coming to a school and playing early,” Nixon said. “That’s the whole deal about choosing the school I want to go to. I want to play now.”
Nixon recorded 36 tackles and a team-leading five interceptions as a true freshman last fall at Arizona Western. Timed with a 4.40 40-yard dash, he was also the punt and kick returner. Iowa State views Nixon as a cornerback who is capable of playing nickel if needed and who could also be a returner in Ames.
He is also intrigued by teaming back up with Payne.
“We talk like every other day. That was my roommate last year at school when he was at Arizona Western. We keep in contact like every. We Facetimed like two days ago. He’s trying to get me there fast,” Nixon said of Payne. “The plan is, if I go to Iowa State, I’ll be on one side and he’ll be on the other or I’ll go nickel. It doesn’t really matter, I just want to play. If I go to Iowa State I’m going to play right away. That’s the biggest thing.”
Nixon, who is drawing new interest from Arkansas, Auburn, Oregon, Utah and TCU, hasn’t thought about any other visits outside of his Iowa State trip. The current plan is to narrow his list then and announce a decision in December on the mid-year signing day.
“Right now my recruitment is booming, so I’m just letting it weigh in. I’m just letting it sink in and then pick my top schools soon,” Nixon said. “I plan on dropping a Top-5 right after the Iowa State visit in September.”
As for the message from Payne?
“He said he loves Iowa State,” Nixon said of his former Arizona Western teammate. “So if my boy loves it I know I’m going to love it on my visit.”