Westfield Pipeline Gets Even Stronger

The path from Houston (Texas) Westfield High School to Ames is one that is well traveled. Since Brandon Brown signed in the Class of 2001, the Cyclones signed his former teammate Brent Curvey and have a commitment from another Mustang senior in Webster Patrick. But Iowa State might not be done mining talent at the school.

Just days after Patrick chose the Cyclones, his senior teammate Marquis Rogers, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound middle linebacker, will take his first official visit to ISU. Rogers is drawing a lot of comparisons to Brown, another bruising linebacker during his time at Westfield.

"Marquis has been an impact player for us the last two years," said new head coach Corby Meekins. "He's cut out of the same mold as Brandon Brown. There are a lot of similarities. Bam Bam has such a quick first step and has a burst. Marquis runs about the same way Bam Bam did when he was in school here. They're both outstanding players. As far as comparing them, I'd say they're very similar.

"(Marquis) is a downhill player, which is the first thing we like about. He is collisioning people at the line of scrimmage. His closing speed is really good, he's fast and can run people. He plays sideline to sideline. He is the total package, as far as being able to fill the hole and chase people side to side."

Meekins took over as the team's head coach this week when Ron Lynch, the six-year head coach at Westfield, resigned after his wife had open heart surgery. Meekins arrived at Westfield along with Lynch and was the offensive coordinator.

Rogers attracted a lot of recruiting interest early in the season, especially after a breakout junior season and impressive spring. He was a preseason Touchdown Club honoree as one of the top defensive high school players in the Houston area. However, he played with a broken thumb for five games, and finished with 71 tackles and two interceptions.

"He started as a junior and then when recruiting season was over, they really started looking at him," Meekins said. "(Iowa State's) been in contact with him the whole time. Marquis was rated one of the better linebackers in the state preseason."

But the misfortune of Rogers' senior year has not taken the toll on his recruitment some might think.

"He's going to take some more visits and is lining those up," Meekins said. "I think he might end up going to Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota is talking to him."

Rogers appears to be favoring ISU for a lot of the reasons his teammates have.

"They've got a great coaching staff up there and do a great job," Meekins said. "I can speak from experience with Bam Bam and Brent Curvey already on campus up there. They had a chance to play early. Iowa State has shown they're willing to give everybody a chance to play if they're ready to contribute.

"When any kid's looking at a school, they're looking at what it can do when they graduate, and when they can get on the field. Iowa State's done a great job with the kids they have up there right now."

With Rogers on defense and Patrick spearheading the offense, Westfield finished 7-3 and missed the playoffs by one game. The Mustangs lost three games in 15-5A district play, including an 11-point decision to Class 5A State finalist The Woodlands.

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