ISU Beats K-State for OL Recruit

After picking up a pair of JUCO offensive linemen last week, Iowa State has added one of the highest-rated prep big men on its list. The latest addition brings the Cyclones' number of known verbal commitments to 14 for the Class of 2005.

Dallas (Texas) Jesuit offensive lineman Reggie Stephens picked ISU Sunday afternoon over scholarship offers from Kansas State and Miami of Ohio. The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder took his official visit to Ames the first weekend in December, and says that experience played a big role in his decision to commit.

"I actually tried to make it yesterday, but I wasn't able to contact Coach Alford," said Stephens. "I just felt really comfortable up there with all the guys. They made me feel really welcome. It was a difficult decision, because all of the schools that were in the running at the end were pretty good schools. But I'm really happy with the decision I made.

"People say that you would know when you got there how it would be. And after the visit was over, I knew it was the right place for me to be. All the schools' facilities and academic programs were similar, but I just felt more comfortable at Iowa State. I'm looking forward to getting up there and making an impact."

Stephens' addition could not have come at a better time for the Cyclones. While the program added the Fisher twins last week, it has missed out on some of its bigger targets at the high school level. Jon Cooper, Dain Wise, J.D. Walton, and Ryan Ruckdashel were among the big men who picked other schools after listing ISU as a finalist.

Although Tony Alford was his main recruiter, Stephens said offensive coordinator Barney Cotton also played a big role in getting him to ISU.

"Coach Cotton was great," Stephens said. "The fact that he's also the offensive coordinator and line coach, now I know who's calling the plays and should understand his philosophy. That should help out a lot."

Stephens is being recruited to play offensive guard, and he likes the situation he'll be entering in Ames.

"They are a young team, so I think if I go in and perform well, I'll have an opportunity to play early," he said. "But I don't think anything is going to be given to me. I'll have to work hard during the summer and prove myself on the field to play during the season. Redshirt is not out of the question. I'll do anything that's best for the team."

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