Out-of-State LB Impressive on Day Two

A connection with one of the Cyclones' offensive graduate assistant helped lead North Chicago (Ill.) High coach Mike Grenda and a few of his players to Iowa State's first padded camp. For one of Grenda's defensive standouts, the trip to Ames was a valuable experience, and might make him one of ISU's top targets coming out of the opening camp.

Head coach Dan McCarney and his staff apparently liked what they saw in 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end/outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield, who was offered a scholarship by the Cyclones. Schofield played mostly defensive end in high school, but played outside linebacker Tuesday afternoon and is projected at the SAM position.

His camp experience was valuable in a number of ways, from getting more recruiting attention to learning the ins and outs of playing a new position.

"It was real nice," said Schofield, who arrived for Tuesday's session with Grenda and senior teammate Demeatric Fowler. "I got a chance to learn more techniques at linebacker. This was my first time playing it, so it was a nice experience. The cover two is kind of tricky, but I got a handle on it after a while. I got something to take back to my team.

"The coaches seem real nice and warm. They're really about teaching the game. If you learn the game and be a student of the game, you can be successful with team."

The Cyclones joined Western Illinois and Central Michigan as Division I programs to have offered Schofield, who has a personal-best 40 time of 4.7. The senior-to-be also indicated that Penn State was showing some interest and could be offering him soon.

Even though he has yet to attend camps at Wisconsin, Ball State, Penn State and Illinois, ISU has emerged as a big favorite for a prospect in the middle of Big 10 country.

"The Big 10 is real nice, but I want to explore," Schofield said. "I don't just want to stay in the same area; I want to get out. I'll probably end up coming here. I really like it. They have a real nice campus and facilities. They're upgrading a lot of stuff. I like the coaching staff. I'd like to be a part of the family."

Schofield put up big numbers for North Chicago as a junior, compiling, 35 tackles, 13 sacks and 11 fumble recoveries. He returned three of those fumble recoveries for touchdowns. Schofield earned all-North Suburban Conference, all-area, and all-county honors last season.

Notes from Tuesday's camp

West Des Moines Dowling standout Trent Flander, considered one of the top in-state seniors in the Class of 2005, returned to camp after sitting out Monday afteroon's session. Although many of the top prospects the Cyclones will recruit will be in the second camp, Flander got some stiff competition from Schofield in one-on-one drills.

Flander and Schofield fought to a few stalemates, and each won their fair share of battles, too. Schofield's play against perhaps the best senior in camp caught my eye.

Muscatine junior Nate Frere continued to be dominant working as an interior defensive lineman, but a sprained ankle sustained on Monday hampered his movement.

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