Recruiting Period Opens for Cyclones

The Iowa State coaching staff could not have picked a better time to begin a recruiting period. After earning a lot of respect for nearly taking out a top-five ranked Florida State team and following that up with a 45-3 trouncing of Kansas, the Cyclones started a contact period at the start of September.

Coaches are now allowed to contact players once a week by phone and can take up to six evaluation days for traveling to high schools throughout the fall.

ISU recruiting coordinator Don Knock, along with Head Coach McCarney, is the one overseeing the staff's efforts.

"Starting Sunday we had phone calls that we were able to make," said Knock. "Basically we get about a minimum of 10 phone calls per coach. Some of them have more. Besides the ones that I give them, they are also able to call some others that they feel are top prospects maybe that we don't have them high enough in our ranking system for me to go through.

"Coaches are really busy. Sometimes I give them a minimum of phone calls. These are definitely ones you have to call, then feel free to call others above and beyond that. In our calling system that we use, we are able to contact an awful lot of players out there across the nation and not just in Iowa."

McCarney's staff will hit the road Friday, traveling to high schools across the state, as well as Missouri and Nebraska. However, according to NCAA rules, they will not be allowed to have contact with potential recruits.

"We have six evaluation days that we can do in the fall, starting in September, and one of those days we will use on Friday," he said. "We're sending seven coaches out across the state of Iowa, into Missouri around St. Louis and then also into eastern Nebraska.

"The rules are specific, in the fact that we cannot have contact with those athletes in the school. Basically it's just an opportunity to get into the school, talk to the head football coach, present information and give information, take care of some paperwork, respect some tape and just let them be aware of what we're doing with our program and what's happening at Iowa State."

The Cyclones are already off to an outstanding start for the Class of 2003, with eight commitments already in hand and a few more that are believed to be ‘soft' commitments.

Recruiting in-state talent has been a major focus since McCarney took over as head coach, and that is evidenced in ISU already having seven commitments from Iowa preps. The staff is expected to sign around 16 players for this year's class.

Per NCAA rules, coaches are not allowed to comment on recruits until a signed letter of intent is received next February.

Knock has been impressed with the overall attention ISU has received thus far, and says that the interest is peaking even earlier in the process.

"It's been very positive," he said. "A number of the kids are obviously more familiar with us. They watched us play on TV against Florida State and Kansas. Especially with the Florida State game, the response from kids in Florida and Texas has been very positive.

"From my observations and the input of the coaches involved, it appears that there is an awful lot more interest in Iowa State than there's been. We feel that the Florida State game has had something to do with it, as well as the last two ball games. We have had a tremendous amount of calls besides the calls we have made from athletes commenting on our play in the Florida State and KU games."

Even though the staff cannot have contact with players while out on the road, they can extend invitations and have potential recruits attend home games. Six seniors-to-be visited campus for the ISU-Kansas game last weekend and many more are expected in the coming weeks for contests against Tennessee Tech, Troy State and Nebraska.

"We've got some very positive things going on right now in the state of Iowa and across the nation," Knock said. "We have gotten a lot of interest and are getting very good turnout to our invitations for ball games. (Tennessee Tech, Troy State and Nebraska) are some very important home games for us to get people on our campus to see our atmosphere with the new lights, scoreboard and new bleachers in the end zone. It gives us an opportunity to sell our program."

For more information on the recruits that have recently visited campus for unofficial visits, we will be posting up numerous updates throughout the next few days.

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