Gair Now Set to Sign With Cyclones

Winning the turnover margin is something Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney stresses with his team, and it's also something he evaluated while stocking his Class of 2004. Just look at what the Cyclones will be adding to the secondary next season. After securing a verbal commitment from the national junior college leader in interceptions earlier this week – Palomar's Josh Hargis – McCarney is now set to bring in the player who ranked second to Hargis. reported a pending commitment from West Hills (Calif.) JUCO standout Jerry Gair last month, as ISU coaches were set to make an in-home visit to his home in New Orleans, La., over winter break. But as it turns out, the Cyclones wanted to make sure Gair's academics were in order before considering the free safety a full-fledged member of the '04 class.

After some thorough evaluations over the past two weeks, Gair is now set to sign a national letter-of-intent next week.

"He actually committed on the home visit when (assistant coach Mike Nelson) went to visit his mom and dad in New Orleans over Christmas break," said West Hills head coach Mark Gritton. "(McCarney and defensive coordinator John Skladany) came out last Tuesday to make sure he was in the proper classes that are going to make sure he makes the transfer requirements to go to Iowa State from a junior college.

"They were excited about the fact that he's sitting pretty good in terms of getting it done. They checked his commitment to Iowa State and it was still there. They did a great job of recruiting him."

Already sold on Gair's ability to contribute at the next level, the Cyclones' main focus since the start of the year was monitoring his academics. That attention to detail actually came off as a positive to Gair.

"They showed a nice interest in him as a player and his academics," Gritton said. "They didn't even talk football. All they talked about was coursework and his finishing strong with classes. That means a lot to him, in terms of his long-term goals."

Prior to McCarney and Skladany visiting West Hills last week, Nelson made another trip to the central California community college two weeks ago. Those trips helped to solidify ISU's standing with Gair.

"Nelly is a personable guy," Gritton said. "That made Jerry comfortable – seeing the relationship Nelly and I had. We knew each other. That may have helped Jerry feel good about making that decision.

Coach Mac and Coach Skladany came out last week, and I had met them before. When I was at Wayne State, I met Coach Mac when he first got the job at Iowa State. I came out to watch spring ball and attend a couple clinics. It was nice visiting with Coach Mac again."

According to Gritton, Gair is enrolled in 18 credit hours this semester and is on track to graduate from West Hills in May, and immediately make the trip to Ames to get started on summer workouts.

On the playing field, Gair adds some immediate assistance at a position of need for the Cyclones.

"They're planning on him coming in and contributing right away and I think he can," Gritton said. "He plays at a high level. He's got the nice size, is strong and plays with a lot of intensity and emotion. He's also a very cerebral football player. When you get to that level, so many people underestimate the mental focus and what it takes to play at that level."

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