Early in the 2017 recruiting class, it was clear that 2017 Temecula (Calif.) three-star CB Michael Onyemaobi was one of the Cyclones top corner back targets on their board. Before he committed to California a few months ago, Iowa State was within his top three. Despite his commitment to the Golden Bear,. the staff kept recruiting Onyemaobi. Now heading into early October, all the hard work is now paying off for the staff as the California commit decided to take an official visit to Ames this past weekend.
When the 6-foot-1, 187-pounder arrived at Iowa State he came into the visit still fully committed to California, but still hearing from the Cyclones, along with Arizona State, Washington State, San Diego State, and UNLV. Since the time he stepped foot off his plane until the time he re-boarded late Sunday evening, he had a great first impression of Iowa State.
“I enjoyed my visit a lot, it was really good. The first thing we did when we got there and off our flight was met the team and saw the entire campus and other things like the education. I had a chance to meet with the coaching staff and really see the pregame and gameday atmosphere, it was a terrific game. We then got dinner and talked with the coaching staff.”
Onyemaobi was not alone on his official visit to Iowa State, his mother, who has already played a major factor into his recruitment and will continue to had a chance to check out the Cyclones for the first time as well. She also, walked away impressed.
“My mother enjoyed the visit as well, one thing that stock out to her specifically was the academic support and education that Iowa State has to offer. Given that they have graduated 100-percent of their players since 2014 was a big deal for her. The academic support system there was amazing. It’s almost impossible for a football player to not graduate from Iowa State University. They make it impossible.”
Iowa State offered Onyemaobi back in February and ever since, even through his commitment, his relationship with Iowa State corner
backs coach D.K. McDonald continued to grow. Now, his relationship is just as strong as the one he shares with the California coaches.
“We talked a lot, I actually spent the majority of my visit alongside the coaching staff. During my visit, I really felt a head coach and an assistant coach that genuinely cared about us as young men and wants to see us succeed, period. They generally stayed away from my recruitment and football, they didn't talk too much about football, and more towards life in general. That was something that I liked.”
The coaching staff picked the perfect weekend to have one of their top targets visit. As Iowa State’s so-called “leader” and “recruiter” of the 2017 recruiting cycle, Devon Moore, talked with Onyemaobi a bunch and even did a little bit of recruiting himself.
“I like Devon a lot, he’s a great guy and talked to me a lot during the game. Just talking to me about how we could build something special here. Devon and the other commits are definitely guys I could see myself playing alongside.”
Coming into his visit at Iowa State, the fellow California commit came in with an open mind about the Cyclones. However, there is no denying that Iowa State made a move with Onyemaobi and have appears to really have blown him out of the water.
“My current status with California is something that I know I can't really speak on right now because I just came off of my visit to Iowa State. I am really going to soak in the visit and let my emotions settle in before I actually figure that out. But I am still solidly committed to California like I have been. I still have my other official visits to take. Iowa State has been right behind California during this whole process, just right there. I really like both programs a lot.”
The recruiting process will only start to heat up even more for Onyemaobi as he will be heading to San Diego State this weekend for an unofficial visit trip to watch them take on UNLV. In terms of a commitment date, he doesn’t really have one. He would like to take all of his official visits during the football season and then make a final decision.