Mac Gains DL, May Lose Another

The Iowa State coaching staff is into the final hours of finalizing their 2004 recruiting class, and that means some changes in the list of verbal commitments. Now, Cyclone fans can count in a defensive lineman from the Texas high school ranks. It also means they can rule out someone that was originally thought to be part of this class. <b>(UPDATED, 2/4/04)</b>

Head coach Dan McCarney will be signing Fort Worth Calvary Christian Academy defensive tackle Jason McGinty, a 6-foot-2, 295-pounder with 4.95 speed, who visited campus last weekend. That addition means the Cyclones will probably not be bringing in a JUCO transfer from California, likely Tearrius George of Los Angeles Valley Community College.

"They sent the stuff to his parents before he left (on his visit), but that was kind of contingent on a numbers game and if another player didn't come through," said Calvary head coach Keith Gober. "They were feeling good about Jason, but holding off. They were interested in him, but had this other kid from a JUCO in California and it didn't look like he was going with them. It was a case of them wanting Jason if (the JUCO kid) didn't go with Iowa State. It was a hit-and-miss kind of thing. Now it's working out that he's going to be able to go up there."

Just as Cyclone coaches were unsure of their intentions with McGinty, the defensive lineman was also reluctant at first to go with a school so far away from home. But when no offers came out of interest from TCU, Kansas, Purdue and SMU, ISU became more of a factor.

"His heart was kind of to stay local like most kids do, but it just seemed like it was a numbers game," Gober said. "They were so loaded at his position at TCU, that it wasn't going to be something they could offer. He was excited about getting to go (to Iowa State), but the reality of going to school that far away was weighing in his mind too. But he really wants to play.

"When he got on the plane, we knew they'd take care of him. He really had a good time and was impressed with the coaches and how personable they were. That kind of caught him off guard. He's used to that here, but didn't know how much time he'd get with coaches. The coaches seemed really down to earth and genuinely interested in him. He went to the Kansas game and was pretty pumped about that. He had a good visit."

Gober added that numerous Division II schools offered McGinty, but that ISU was his only offer at the highest level.

"We never got to the point of offers," he said. "Kansas came down and visited. Purdue saw him in the spring. SMU called. We were hitting schools that were loaded at that spot. Purdue was real interested. He did not visit Purdue, but was considering it."

What turned Cyclone coaches onto McGinty was his ability to mix size and power with speed.

"He seems to have a little bit of punch to go along with his mobility," Gober said. "He's not going to be the strongest guy on campus, but he's pretty strong. It just seemed to catch everybody's eye how quick and mobile he was. We moved him around a lot so that people couldn't key on him. When you've got a kid that can move you can do that. It's the combination of being that size of guy, having the explosiveness to you and being able to get off the ball well."

McGinty starred on both sides of the ball for Calvary, recording seven sacks on defense to go along with 39 pancake blocks from his offensive tackle position.

Although it's ISU's intention to start McGinty off on defense, his work on offense speaks volumes about the mobility Gober refers to.

"We run an option attack, so we read the first guy ahead of us outside the tackles," Gober said. "So he's not going against d-linemen, he's going against linebackers. For him to come out at that speed and take on a SAM or WILL linebacker was huge for us."

McGinty's Calvary squad finished 8-3 this season competing as a Class 3A private school.

On another note, CycloneNation.com learned from a source close to ISU football recruiting that McGinty's scholarship offer and commitment may still be pending.

This source said that as of Tuesday afternoon the Cyclones had yet to officially offer McGinty and that mailing L.O.I. papers is a common practice, especially this close to the deadline.

Thus, it appears some things still need to fall through with the 2004 recruiting class in order for McGinty's name to be officially announced Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.


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