Dixie Three Host Coaches

St. George, Utah, has become a hotspot of sorts for Iowa State football recruiters this fall, as Dixie State College has as many as three Division I caliber sophomores that are looking to make an impact at the next level in 2005. A pair of Cyclone coaches made the trek to the Utah town on Monday.

Head coach Dan McCarney and assistant Terry Allen made their first stop on Monday afternoon, visiting tight end Walter Nickel. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder has been rated as one of the top JUCO tight ends in the nation, and he's apparently down to ISU, Tulsa, and Kansas.

"Coach Mac and Coach Allen were out here," said Nickel. "There are three recruits on our team, so this is a little hotspot for them. This was Coach Allen's third time out here in the last couple months. We talked and Iowa State is still one of my top choices, but you never know what can happen. I'm going to try to play it out. One of these coaches will call here one of these days and I'll tell them I'm ready and they're going to get a letter."

With the news of Fullerton (Calif.) JUCO tight end Jason Vandiver heading to Oregon State, Nickel is undoubtedly the top player at that position the Cyclones are seeking. But, then again, Nickel had already thought that.

"They did tell me (Vandiver) going to Oregon State, and how they had a couple other guys coming in after me in January," Nickel said. "By my own pride, I'd like to think they wanted me more than him. I'd like to think that I was their top choice, but now that is definitely the case."

But Nickel's recruitment is far from over. He's expected to take at least one more visit this weekend.

"I think right now I'm going to Kansas this weekend," he said. "They're going to come here (Tuesday) to set that up. It's not for sure, though, but I'm pretty sure they want me to. We had our bowl game last weekend, so I wasn't able to take a visit then."

Nickel and offensive line teammates and twins Scott Fisher and Paul Fisher helped lead Dixie State College to a 27-20 victory in its bowl game last weekend. Nickel had a pair of catches for 45 yards in the game, as Dixie State wrapped up the season 10-2.

"It was a great way to end my junior college days here at Dixie," Nickel said. "I'm real excited about it. It was a real fun game. You're a sophomore and get real emotional about it."

Once McCarney and Allen finished their visit with Nickel they prepared for an evening with the Fishers. Both offensive tackles are highly coveted by the Cyclones, but Scott Fisher is perhaps the bigger target at this point since he's a mid-year transfer.

"They came over to my parents house and my mom cooked dinner for everyone," said Fisher. "She cooked meat loaf, potatoes, salad, and garlic bread. They just visited me and my wife, my brother and my wife, and my mom and dad. We talked about whatever, basically. They weren't trying to get any commitments. We just had questions and they had the answers about the University in general."

The in-home stop came just a few days before Fisher and his brother Paul will make official visits to Wisconsin this weekend. Scott Fisher says the race is still very close between the Cyclones and Badgers.

"Iowa State is still pretty strong," he said. "I still haven't made up my mind and it's still a 50-50 decision for me. It will be whichever one I feel more comfortable with and could see myself playing there – that will be the school I pick. I'm going to take the visit this weekend and I'll have my answer made up by Wednesday. I'll probably sign that day."

After signing with and transferring from BYU as a freshman, Paul Fisher will need the spring semester to graduate from Dixie State, and is unable to transfer to a Division I program until then.

AllCyclones Top Stories