Big 12 Rivals Battle for Stephens

Iowa State hosted one of the top high school offensive linemen on its board last weekend when Dallas (Texas) Jesuit standout Reggie Stephens headed to Ames. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder said his official visit was all that he had expected.

"I had a really good time this weekend and got to see a little bit of practice with all the coaches," said Reggie Stephens. "It's a really friendly staff and were really genuine about everything they had to say. It was a good atmosphere and I really enjoyed myself up there."

Stephens' visit ended Sunday morning with a breakfast meeting at head coach Dan McCarney's house. The high-profile offensive lineman was happy to report that the meeting did not turn into a sales pitch from the Cyclone head coach.

"I went over there about 10 o'clock in the morning," Stephens said. "I spoke with Coach Mac again before I left. I had talked to him previously a few times. He asked me how the visit went overall. They've been pretty good about letting me make my own decision. They gave me all the information I've needed, but haven't pressured me."

Stephens had moved his visit up a couple of weeks when the Cyclones didn't make the Big 12 championship game. That made ISU his first trip. He'll head to a North Division rival this weekend.

"I'm scheduled to visit Kansas State this weekend," he said. "I haven't set up any more visits, but hopefully I'll take one to Baylor and Miami of Ohio. I don't really have any favorites, although I really liked my trip to Iowa State. I told everybody before the visit, I didn't have any favorites because I hadn't seen any campuses. I don't think it would be very fair to give Iowa State the edge when I haven't seen Kansas State."

Both the Cyclones and Wildcats are looking for help along the offensive line, and Stephens would be a key addition along the interior of that front. He feels his opportunities with both programs are good.

"Kansas State wants me to play center, and Iowa State has me listed as a guard," he said. "My opinion is both teams are really young and are going to need some new guys to come in and get some playing time pretty soon. Obviously, offensive linemen need a little bit more time because of the speed of the game and how much stronger players are from college to high school. But given time, I think I could have an impact on either one of those teams."

Jesuit lost in the second round of the state playoffs to Longview, wrapping up the 2004 season with a 10-2 overall record. Stephens secured a spot on the all-district and all-area first-teams, and has been nominated for UIL all-state honors.

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