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Iowa State Saturday Night Lights Recap

Iowa State held its first Saturday Night Lights camp under the direction of coach Matt Campbell on Saturday. Here are some nuggets on some of the standouts from the night of action.

5 Recruits Who Stood Out

Despite the fact that Creston (IA) offensive linemen Trevor Downing is only now finishing his sophomore year and is a 2018 prospect, Iowa State wasted no time getting involved. The Cyclones offered within days of coach Matt Campbell's arrival and the decision showed Saturday. Downing is 6-foot-4, 285 pounds and proved to be a prototypical Tom Manning offensive linemen during camp. He's strong and physical and his current level of play was noticeable. He will be one of the state's best players in 2018. The Cyclones think he could develop to play anywhere on the line and will spend a lot of time trying to get him to Ames.

There is quite a bit of talent right now down I-35 at Dowling Catholic and that extends to 2018 offensive lineman Zach Ross, the second sophomore linemen at camp Saturday who the Cyclones have already offered. Much like Downing, Ross has a lot of talent and displayed it for Tom Manning. Ross is 6-foot-3, 290 pounds and probably projects as an interior lineman at the next level potentially fitting in at center for the Cyclones. He'll camp at Iowa, Nebraska and Notre Dame this summer ahead of his junior season.

Aside from the two 2018 prospects, the lone other camper with an Iowa State offer was Little Rock (Ark.) defensive end David Porter. He took part in portions of Iowa State's camp and has good size at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds. Porter, who also has offers from Kansas State, Memphis and others, showed quickness and has good length. He'll continue to fill into his frame and add weight and might initially fit well at Iowa State as a Leo (linebacker/D-end hybrid) until he fully fills into his body and becomes more of a prototypical lineman.

Iowa City West receiver Oliver Martin was one of the more intriguing prospects at camp Saturday. Martin began to burst onto the recruiting scene last month when he impressed at Nike's The Opening in Chicago and was invited to the finals in Oregon later this summer. He's now aiming for a Power 5 offer. At camp Saturday, Martin was impressive. The Cyclones worked him out at defensive back in addition to receiver and he showed his versatility. On the final play of the night, Martin showed his speed (a 4.50 40-yard dash) and got great separation on a solid break to make an impressive catch on a slant.

He was invited into the Jacobsen Building to meet with Matt Campbell afterward and Iowa State will stay in touch. His next camp is at Northwestern and he'll also get to Iowa, Kansas State and Minnesota later this month.

A 2018 teammate of Porter, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Hunter Swoboda performed well at tight end on Saturday. Swoboda could end up being one of the top 2018 prospects in Arkansas and he has a lot of versatility. He was a solid linebacker for Joe T. Robinson last season and has a great frame and good athleticism to potentially fit the tight end mold for the Cyclones and assistant Alex Golesh. Swoboda looked good in one-on-ones and will likely continue to be evaluated. 

Storylines That Matter

-- Iowa State has made a recruiting push into Arkansas beginning with Matt Campbell's first class when the Cyclones landed big tight end Dylan Soehner. That push has continued in 2017 recruiting with the commitment of receiver Joshua Johnson and now the recruitment of Porter, who camped Saturday night. That push is due in large part to assistant Alex Golesh, who has Arkansas ties and is the recruiter on all three players. In addition to Porter's teammate, Swoboda, receiver Nathan Page also camped and showed good quickness during the drill portion of the night.

-- Osseo (Minn.) 2017 offensive lineman Nash Jensen had great size in person at 6-foot-4, 325 pounds. He made several solid blocks and showed toughness too. Iowa State will likely continue to monitor him, but he's in a tough spot because the Cyclones already have three offensive line commitments in the class and are currently targeting four-star Caleb Chandler as well as highly-rated Marquis Hayes. Jensen will continue to camp this month to display his skills and he certainly has a great frame.

-- Trinity Valley C.C. brought a number of prospects to Ames from Texas. While defensive tackle Tyrell Thompson ended up not making the trip, defensive end Alex Funchess did and showed quickness off the end in drills against the offensive line. Iowa State is likely to take at least one and potentially a few JUCO defensive linemen and could continue to evaluate those two players moving forward. Cornerback Michael Sam is another one to watch. 

-- The Cyclones have already locked up Dowling linebacker Jake Hummel for the 2017 class and are making a run at Zach Ross for 2018 early on. The Maroons' roster is fairly deep with talent and several other prospects were at camp Saturday including 2017 prospects Atlias Bell (DE) and Ryan Mells (DT) and 2018 prospect John Waggoner (DE). The staff will likely keep an eye on all three heading into the fall. 

-- Iowa State's Saturday Night Lights camps will continue to ramp up and the talent will likely increase as the month moves forward. With the next one June 18, the staff will hit satellite camps in Dubuque and Council Bluffs/Omaha in the coming days along with other trips around the country. Look for June 24-26 to be a big weekend with not only visitors, but high-level campers as the staff prepares to make that a big recruiting weekend.

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