"I really like the coaches there," said Walter Nickel. "The biggest thing for me was seeing how young they were and how successful they are. I think I can play two years with the same guys and not have to worry about who's coming in and who's doing what. We will be able to grow and do what we can in the Big 12 together. I love the chance to play in the Big 12 against good teams. It seems like everything was there that I needed to make a choice. Ames is a small town that I like.
Nickel posted 36 catches for 488 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season, and added a pair of grabs for 45 more yards in Dixie State's bowl game victory.
He'll be given every opportunity to crack the Cyclones' starting lineup next fall, given the fact that three of the team's top four tight ends are graduating. Brett Kellogg, James Wright, and Kenny Segin will all be moving on, leaving Ben Barkema as the lone player in the top four.
"They graduate three tight ends and I think they've already gotten commitments from some high school tight ends," Nickel said. "I'm just going to go in there, work hard, and earn my spot. It's a great situation that they have open, and I've got to go in and do what I've told everyone I can do. I'm going to put up numbers and get my wide receivers open by holding the safeties up in the middle of the field."
Nickel informed Cyclone assistant coach Terry Allen of his decision Saturday night, as he was heading back from his trip to Utah.
"I called Coach Allen last night and had just gotten back from Salt Lake City," Nickel said. "I went to the University of Utah. I told him I was ready to make my decision and was going to Iowa State. I knew the whole time what Iowa State had, but it took some time to make that decision. I'm stoked to be a Cyclone."
Nickel considered Oregon, Nebraska, Kansas, Ball State, New Mexico, and Tulsa.