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10 Iowa State Targets To Watch For 2018

While the recruiting focus is currently on the 2017 class, it won't be long before Iowa State's attention slowly begins to turn to the 2018 class. To prepare, here are 10 early 2018 prospects worth watching.

When all is said and done, Iowa State (and every other program) with put out 100-plus offers for the 2018 class. The recruiting push has already begun and by the end of the year it will fully heat up as the current 2017 class reaches the finish line. 

There are already too many targets to fully pinpoint Iowa State's focal points. So to help get started, is here to help provide 10 names the Cyclones certainly have high on their 2018 wishlist. Iowa State's 2018 class is already underway with Pickerington (Ohio) offensive lineman Alex Williams. Will any of these prospects eventually join him? 

NOTE: NCAA rules prohibit schools from reaching out to 2018 prospects (calling, messaging or mailing) until later this fall. The only permissible contact is through campus visits and camps and phone calls to coaches initiated from the prospect. Thus, many 2018 prospects currently have limited interactions.

NOTE 2: This list is far from exhaustive given the scope of Iowa State's offers.

Creston (IA) offensive lineman Trevor Downing starts this list because he very might well be the No. 1 target here. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound in-state lineman has great size and toughness coming out of his sophomore season and he's got two more years ahead of him. The staff loves him and his intangibles were evident during Iowa State's first Saturday Night Lights camp. Downing plans to major in Agriculture Business, which is one of the university's top offerings. He has already been on campus several times.

Iowa State has made a push for Dowling prospects since Matt Campbell arrived, and for good reason. The Maroons have won the last three Class 4A state titles. Linebacker Jake Hummel is committed for 2017 and Zach Ross added an offer earlier this year. Ross, like Downing, has great size for a sophomore at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds. He'll likely be an interior player (maybe a center) and looked good in Ames during the Cyclones' first summer camp.

The third and final (for now) in-state offeree on the offensive line is Cedar Rapids Washington's Andrew Todd. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman will camp in Ames later this summer, and he has some Iowa State connections. Todd is the teammate of 2017 linebacker commit O'Rien Vance and soon-to-be Iowa State center Julian Good-Jones also hails from C.R. Washington. Todd was offered way back in December and is in the exclusive company of Ross and Downing as key in-state O-line targets.

Iowa State had a message for Devin O'Rourke when it offered him on spring break: The staff told him that he was the best 2018 defensive end it had evaluated. That evaluation became clear when he later added his second and third Power 5 offers from in-state Illinois and Northwestern. The Cyclones would love to get the big, athletic 6-foot-6 defensive end on campus this summer. There will certainly be a challenge to beat Northwestern, but he is an early favorite on the defensive line.

Before Iowa State running backs coach Louis Ayeni even visited West Monroe High School a second time this spring, the Cyclones had already offered running back Slade Bolden. He may be listed as a quarterback, but Iowa State likes him as an athletic and multi-talented running back. Bolden is teammates with 2017 running back target Trey Coleman and the Cyclones were one of the first schools on him. Expect him to continue to heat up and for Iowa State to continue to keep a watchful eye on him as a top target.

Another running back target is in-state prospect Saybein Clark. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete was Iowa State first in-state skill position offeree for 2018 and for good reason. Clark rushed for 1,666 yards and 19 touchdowns on 239 carries (7.0 yards per carry) last fall as a sophomore and is athletic enough to play multiple positions. After being evaluated by defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, Clark was told he could play linebacker. He could also play elsewhere. For now, he's a running back target, but Iowa State likes him so much they'd be fine recruiting him as an athlete and using him where he best fits after developing.

The fifth and most recent in-state offeree is Dowling defensive end John Waggoner, who netted an offer after camping in Ames earlier this month. He's already 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds coming out of his sophomore season and the staff liked his motor at camp. Waggoner will continue to fill into his big frame and is one of a few 2018 defensive line prospects in the early recruiting stage.

Quarterback recruiting is a bit different in both the way evaluations work and the pace of their recruitment. It's hard to say exactly what Iowa State will do in the 2018 class (it will certainly need a QB), but Kaleb Eleby was offered way back in February when the Cyclones handed him offer No. 1. Illinois joined the mix this month and others will certainly follow. Eleby, who is teammates with 2017 offensive line target Marquis Hayes, has already been on campus and expects to return this summer.

Iowa State has made an impression on St. Louis-area coaches by its heavy push into the area for 2018 and 2019. The Cyclones have already put out a number of offers to an area of the country that has at times been under-recruited. That will likely pay dividends eventually and Iowa State hopes that might be the case with receiver Cameron Brown. He was offered after coaches were in Missouri earlier this month and they'll have to contend with an early offer from Missouri. But he's definitely an early top target.

Ronnie Perkins is a talented defensive end who the Cyclones saw at their St. Louis satellite camp. He also holds offers from Missouri, Illinois and Iowa and the battle will likely be his in-state offer from Missouri, where his brother plays. Still, Perkins said he plans to get to Iowa State this summer, which puts them in the mix early on if nothing else. 

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