JUCO DT High on Cyclones' List

One of the highest profile junior-college players being recruited by Iowa State will take his visit to Ames this weekend. And with the Cyclones needing some immediate help on the defensive line, this will be a critical weekend in their recruitment of the former Texas high school athlete.

College of the Siskiyous (Calif.) defensive tackle George Lane, a first-team all-conference player this fall has ISU in the mix along with Missouri, Baylor, Colorado State and San Jose State, all of which have offered scholarships.

"Last week he tripped out to Missouri," said Siskiyous head coach Dennis Roberts. "Oregon was here (Monday) and verbally offered him. Iowa State, Baylor, Colorado State and San Jose State have already offered him. I'm sure UCLA will probably be offering him. He's sort of a hot commodity right now.

"He hasn't caused us one problem in the year and a half he's been with us. I think somebody is going to get a great football player. I expect to see great things out of him in the next two years."

It's easy to see why Lane is at the top of a number of recruiting lists. He plays the interior defensive line, or three-technique, an area often hard to recruit to the Division I level. The former standout at Arlington Sam Houston High School recorded 64 tackles, including 11 for losses, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Defensive line coach and Northern California JUCO recruiter Mike Nelson is heading up the commitment of Lane.

"He does things that (Iowa State) is looking for a guy to come in next year and do," Roberts said. "He can be up to 290 pounds easily. Coach Nelson likes how he runs to the ball, how he's great against the run and has a very good pass rush. He can do some great things.

"I'm sure if he went out for our basketball team right now he'd start at either center or forward. He's got great feet. He's still probably not as strong as he can be, but he's very explosive in the weight room. He's got a great feel of the game. I've been here 18 years and he is a tremendous player."

One big selling point in ISU's favor is that former quarterback Seneca Wallace, who played against Siskiyous while at Sacramento City College, excelled in Ames and has now reached the NFL. But it's still too early to tell who's in the lead for the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder.

"He's a great kid and is just weighing out everything right now," Roberts said. "I really don't know as of right now. I try the best I can to not bring any of my personal opinions into it and tell George what I think. All of the programs are good ones.

"Coach (Mike) Nelson, who is recruiting George, was tremendous out here the last couple years. I think the world of him as a recruiter. Seneca Wallace was close to us and was a tremendous quarterback for them. That's a huge selling thing with George."

According to Roberts, Lane's biggest improvement since signing with his program out of high school has been in the fundamentals of playing defensive line.

"It's just being a disciplined player," Roberts said. "He was in a very good high school program. But a lot of kids still may be undisciplined coming out of high school. His biggest thing originally was realizing that if you're a gap control defense or whatever your responsibility is, you do that first and then rely on your athleticism to make plays. That's been the biggest change in his last two years."

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