John Tjaden, OL, 6-6, 270, Mason City H.S.
CN has learned that Tjaden committed to Iowa State just prior to taking in the Tennessee Tech game at Jack Trice Stadium. He is the ninth commitment for the 2003 recruiting class and eighth from the state of Iowa. He is the fourth in-state offensive lineman to make a pledge to the Cyclones. Tjaden impressed the ISU coaching staff at Cyclone padded camp last June. Also recruited by programs such as Nebraska, Iowa, Stanford, Colorado, Notre Dame, Kansas State, Harvard, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Minnesota.
Aaron Brant, OL/DL, 6-7, 285, Dubuque Wahlert H.S.
Brant enters his senior season as Iowa's top ranked rising prospect for the class of 2003 according to Tom Lemming of Prep Football Report. Brant impressed Cyclone coaches at padded camp with his ability at both offensive and defensive line. However, he is projected to play offensive tackle in college. Brant played a huge part in Wahlert's offense, which led the Mississippi Valley Conference last season for the first time in 18 years ago with more than 3,700 total yards. He chose the Cyclones over Iowa, Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Kansas State, and many other programs.
Brandon Cook, OL, 6-6, 320, Garner-Hayfield H.S.
A first-team all-state selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association and Des Moines Register, Cook anchored an offense last season that recorded the third-highest rushing yards in school history. Garner-Hayfield, which earned a trip to the Class 2A state playoffs, wrapped up the 2001 campaign 7-3 overall and finished second in District 4 at 6-1. Cook will likely start inside at offensive guard, but could move outside to tackle later in his career. Cyclone coaches are impressed with his dominating play up front in the run game. However, playing in a run-oriented system, Cook will need to sharpen up as a pass blocker at ISU. He chose the Cyclones over recruiting interest from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Michigan State.
Nate Mechaelsen, QB, 6-2, 190, Northeast Hamilton H.S.
Passed for 925 yards and 16 touchdowns on 47-of-84 completions last fall. Even more impressive was the fact he threw just two interceptions. Like many of the quarterbacks ISU recruits, Mechaelsen posses the ability to throw both in the pocket and rolling out. Mechaelsen, who earned first-team all-district and honorable mention all-state honors, led Northeast Hamilton (7-2) to within one game of a Class A playoff berth last fall. He has already broken his school's single-season and career touchdown marks.
Bret Meyer, QB, 6-3, 180, Atlantic H.S.
In addition to the Cyclones, Meyer garnered recruiting interest from Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin after throwing for 1,570 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior. Taking over the starting job as a sophomore in 2000 he passed for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. After throwing 13 interceptions as a first-year starter in 2000, Meyer cut that number down significantly last fall and demonstrated more confidence as a pocket passer.
Tom Schmeling, OL, 6-3, 280, Atlantic H.S.
Schmeling, who is projected as a guard or center, was deemed one of the huge surprises in camp and earned an offer with his solid play. Schmeling's great grandfather was heavyweight boxer Max Schmeling, who knocked out future champion Joe Louis in a storied bout in 1936. Like his great grandfather several years earlier, Tom Schmeling entered ISU's camp as a dark horse in search of his first scholarship offer. An all-district punter one season ago and state discus champion in Class 3A, he needed to show his ability as a future Division I offensive lineman.
Taylor Schrage, Ath., 6-2, 185, Aplington-Parkersburg H.S.
Schrage follows a long line of Division I prospects hailing from small town high school Aplington-Parkersburg. In leading A-P to a 12-1 record and Class 1-A state championship last season, Schrage, a first-team all-stater, recorded 73 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions as well as a pair of defensive touchdowns. As a running back, he cleared the 1,700-yard plateau on 253 carries and scored 28 touchdowns overall. He is projected to be a linebacker, but he could also be lined up at safety. Is considering ISU, Iowa and Kansas State seriously, with Nebraska being a possibility.
Here is a list of other players that visited for the Tennessee Tech game:
Rob Bruggeman, Cedar Rapids Washington H.S.
Alex Danielson, Ames H.S.
Austin DeCamp, Cedar Rapids Xavier
Gavin McGrath, Cedar Rapids Washington
Sean McVey, Bettendorf H.S.
Brett Peterson, Clear Lake H.S.
Todd Plagman, Oakland Riverside H.S.
Galen Read-Hess, Fairfield H.S.
Caleb Recker, Iowa City H.S.
Brady Robbins, Denver H.S.
Michael Sabers, Iowa City H.S.
Warren Seuss, Cedar Rapids Washington H.S.
Nathan Shultz, Cedar Rapids Washington H.S.
Luke Stigler, Iowa Central C.C. (Fort Dodge)
Landon Streit, Manson-NW Webster H.S.
Levi Whitmore, Aplington-Parkersburg H.S.
Alex Willcox, West Des Moines Valley H.S.