"By their recruitment of him, they were very interested in him from the beginning, then that interest increased throughout the season," said Fort Scott head coach Kevin Verdugo. "The young man has done great things for us. His athletic ability is something that is hard to find in quarterbacks and makes him a special threat."
Highsmith originally signed with UNC out of high school in the Class of 2001, but transferred from Chapel Hill following his redshirt freshman season.
His commitment was apparently secured after a conversation with McCarney this week.
"He seems to be very happy with them and likes them," Verdugo said of the ISU coaching staff. "Coach (Chris) Ash has done a good job of recruiting him. Coach (Tony) Alford and Coach McCarney spoke to him the other evening. (Coach McCarney) is very excited about him and looking forward to having him as part of the Cyclone family.
"The one thing when he got here is that he wanted to go to Iowa State from the beginning. From watching Seneca the year before, he saw what an athletic quarterback can do in that offense."
While Highsmith and Wallace provide similar things in terms of athleticism from the quarterback position, they have different frames.
"They have different body types," Verdugo said. "Terrance is bigger than Seneca and is about 6-1 or 6-2. Athletic ability-wise, they're able to do similar things, but look different when they do them."
But unlike when Wallace came to town, Highsmith will have plenty of competition in the depth chart. The Cyclones will have a returning starter in Austin Flynn, a pair of senior backups in Cris Love and Waye Terry, and Bret Meyer fresh off a redshirt year.
Could Highsmith possibly be moved to another position? Not in the short term, according to his JUCO coach.
"From what I understand, he is going to go there as a quarterback," Verdugo said. "If things were to change other than that, I'm not sure."
Whatever the outcome, Verdugo is sure Highsmith will display a positive attitude throughout his time in Ames, much like he has throughout his one season in a ground-dominated offense at Fort Scott.
"We're really kind of a run-oriented offense and haven't thrown it as much as we have the last two years," Verdugo said. "He's been a very unselfish young man. We do use him as a run-threat and run a lot of naked things and play-action. We run a lot of quarterback draws, traps and option that enables him to use his abilities."