Raven Flying Northwest to ISU

After recording 23 sacks as a high school senior at defensive end, Cape Coral (Fla.) Mariner's Josh Raven will be asked to play another position at the next level. He's excited about the challenge, and also of the fact he'll be doing it at Iowa State starting in 2005.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Raven committed to the Cyclones Sunday shortly before returning home from an official visit. The playmaking defender with 4.4 speed liked a number of things about his ISU experience.

"I committed to them," said Josh Raven. "They have always expressed a lot of interest in me and were there the whole recruiting process. I enjoyed the atmosphere they have. My visit went pretty well. I met all of the coaches, new recruits, and players. I toured the facilities and enjoyed my time at Iowa State."

Raven said he will cancel his two remaining visits to Kent State and Bowling Green. He had already taken a visit to Western Kentucky.

The younger brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneer standout Greg Spires, Raven is looking forward to playing at the next level.

"They're going to move me from defensive end to linebacker," he said. "I don't think it's going to be much of a change. I think I can do it. I met the defensive coaches and they seem like really nice guys that I can get along with. They're excited about me coming up there and showing what I can do."

In bringing Raven to Ames, the Cyclones are adding a defensive player with world-class speed. Raven has run a 4.4 40 time and upgrades the speed on that side of the ball greatly.

"Iowa State likes the fact that I'm always around the ball, my motor is always running, and I have a nose for the ball," Raven said. "I make plays, and that is what is most important on defense."

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