Dowling TE Stays Close to Home

West Des Moines Dowling tight end Trent Flander always had a feeling he would end up a Cyclone, but one more trip to Ames for this summer's padded camp gave him all of the reassurances he needed. And thanks to some extra time to consider his decision, Flander made it official Thursday afternoon during a trip to head coach Dan McCarney's office.

"Just working with the coaches showed me this was my type of team," said Flander, who picked up his first and only scholarship offer from ISU, but also attracted interest from Penn State, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UCLA and Kansas. "They're kind of the intense, in your face-type of coaches, which I like. It kind of sets me straight. They tell you what you need to hear and don't beat around the bush. They'll give it to you straight."

Through his relationships with coaches and with future teammates like '05 commit A.J. Haase, Flander has felt comfortable with the situation in Ames for several months.

"Iowa State's been a second home for me all the time," he said. "I've gotten to know the coaches really well, and had probably put it off long enough since October. I've realized this is the place for me. I talked to my parents about it. Nothing else was coming, I talked to them and told them I wanted to commit. So I just went up there and committed. Iowa State's been the number one team and never left that spot."

While McCarney was the first to learn of Flander's decision, Haase wasn't too far behind. The two have built up a solid friendship since meeting at summer camp a year ago.

"I let (Haase) know right when I did it," Flander said. "We put him on speakerphone with all the coaches in there. He really didn't have that much to do with it, other than the fact that he'll be there and I'll have a friend. It was mostly my own decision with my parents."

Although the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder played both offense and defense as a junior, he will be playing tight end in Ames – something position coach Terry Allen insisted he do.

"Coach McCarney told me I could play anywhere I want, but said Coach Allen would probably be real stubborn and keep me (at tight end)," Flander said. "Coach Allen looked at me and said, ‘Oh no, you're not leaving.'"

Flander looked ready to open his recruitment up even more after leaving the Cyclones' padded camp last month. But his trips to other camps had yet to produce another scholarship offer. That didn't bother Flander, though, who says he's relieved to get the whole recruiting process over with.

"It feels really good," he said. "Now, instead of worrying about myself I can concentrate on the team and hopefully get Dowling back where it belongs, which is the state playoffs."

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