More Surprises on Way for Cyclones?

It always seems as if there is a Jason McGinty or Brandon Johnson in every recruiting class. The two were late additions to Iowa State's 2004 recruiting class and redshirted this past season. As Iowa State puts the finishing touches on its recruiting class of 2005, a few others may be flying under the radar on their way to Ames.

One of those is Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar defensive end Stephon Dale. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder didn't get much play from in-state schools this season, and it appears that there's one major reason for that.

"He just didn't register (for his ACT) and didn't take it," said Dunbar head coach Greg Baloga. "He's a bright and intelligent kid, and true to form, his first time out he got his qualifying score. He got a 20 on the ACT."

Now that the word is out that Dale has qualified, it may be too late for other big-name programs to jump on board. One of those that has already been there from the beginning is Iowa State. Troy State and Bowling Green are also involved, according to Baloga.

Dale took official visits to ISU and UConn during the month of January, and may now be the ‘silent' commitment that will headline this year's class.

If the Cyclones do indeed sign Dale on Wednesday morning, they would be getting a big-time steal from the Florida high school ranks.

"Playing-wise he is phenomenal," Baloga said. "He is one of the best defensive ends in high school I've seen in a long time. He's a lean 240 pounds, and if he was 270 or 280 I wouldn't be surprised in the least. His frame will take it. He just took his time taking his test score and therefore it was kind of a delayed process with colleges looking at him."

Baloga says Cyclone coaches are impressed with everything about Dale's game.

"I know he is a defensive end from playing it here and his strength would be as a rush end," Dunbar's head coach said. "They liked his first upfield step, quickness, and intensity. He seemed to be all over the field in pretty much every frame, which has been his M.O. throughout the entire year. He was practically my defense. He's very quick and agile for his size."

With 22 known verbal commitments and a ‘soft' one from another high school defensive end (Rashad Hunt), the Cyclones could easily make room in this class for Dale.


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