Since Cedar Hill (Texas) defensive end Deven Lamp received word one month ago that Iowa State was offering him a scholarship, his relationship with the coaching staff has developed quickly.
The one goal for the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Lamp during his recruiting process was to not rush into a decision. And while his commitment comes four weeks after the Cyclones offered, it doesn’t come without a lot of thought.
“I had a great visit up there and an awesome experience and just talking to the coaches I could tell they had the type of energy and character that I’m looking for in a coaching staff and the whole team, they just bond very well,” Lamp said Tuesday night after committing. “Some special things are coming to that place and I wanted to be a part of it. I talked to my parents about everything and they gave me advice and they 100 percent support my decision. They feel that’s the best place for me also.”
Iowa State stopped in Cedar Hill twice to watch Lamp during the spring evaluation period, offering him following the second stop when defensive line coach Eli Rasheed watched him. He worked with the coaching staff at a satellite camp in Texas earlier this month and then visited Ames last weekend.
All of those factors pointed Lamp toward Iowa State.
“Them coming down for the satellite camp and also getting to go up there for the visit, just bonding with him, [Coach Rasheed is] a very fun guy and straightforward guy," Lamp said of his first impressions. "You could tell he really loves his players and he’s passionate about what he does. That type of mentality allows you to trust in one another and build a great relationship, man. It’s just been positive vibes.”
Lamp, who also held offers from Air Force, Army and Nevada, was also receiving interest from Kansas State, Illinois and others. After being a part-timer at touted and talented Cedar Hill last season, Lamp has bulked up and will have a chance to showcase his skills as a senior full-timer this fall.
The Cyclones see Lamp at defensive end or potentially at their Leo position, which would allow him to be a hybrid defensive end/linebacker.
“He pulled up some plays of my junior year and plays that I made on my highlight film and showed how similar it is to how they run the defense and just going through the overall schemes and how they like to run the defense aggressive up front,” Lamp said of his meeting with Rasheed. “It was very similar to my strengths and the way that my high school plays defense. They could really use my athleticism at the end or Leo spot.”
Iowa State, which graduates seven defensive linemen after the upcoming 2016 season, will need to replenish the position with the 2017 class. Lamp joins Angel Dominguez as the second defensive lineman in the class to date.
And while Lamp was in no rush to decide, he went with his gut when he called assistant Jim Hofher and then Matt Campbell on Tuesday night.
“Overall I feel in my heart that it’s the best place for me,” Lamp said. “I’m excited for the opportunity, but more importantly I can really focus on my senior season and building a great bond with my high school teammates and making it one to remember and helping win a state championship.”