CLOSE

I.C. West safety/linebacker Cole Mabry discusses Iowa State offer, Iowa gameday visit.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Rivals lists him as an outside linebacker. 247Sports says he’s an inside linebacker. In reality, Cole Mabry plays anywhere and everywhere for eastern Iowa powerhouse Iowa City West — linebacker, pseudo defensive end, cornerback or safety.

And sometimes, all within one defensive drive.

"We call it a 'rover,'" Mabry said of his position after West’s 34-20 win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy Friday night. "I just like being able to be physical."

The junior’s defensive range, plus his speed and ability to find the ball-carrier, make him one of Iowa’s most intriguing Class of 2019 prospects. His 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame could logically translate to any number of positions at the college level, with linebacker or strong safety at the top of that list.

Several Big Ten Conference schools — including Iowa and Nebraska — have expressed interest, Mabry said. But Iowa State was the first to offer. Head coach Matt Campbell did it, himself, during a sit-down with the West hard-hitter before Iowa State’s home opener against Northern Iowa on Sept. 2.

Mabry, who entered Week 7 leading West with 13 solo tackles, said the Cyclones are recruiting him at linebacker.

"It depends on how my body grows, but they said they see me as a rangy linebacker," he said, "because you have to be that in the Big 12, because of all the spread offenses and everything."

The Hawkeyes haven't offered yet, but they invited Mabry for a game-day visit Saturday. There’s certainly interest there, as Mabry impressed this past summer at an Iowa camp, where he spoke with defensive coordinator Phil Parker.

"I went to (a visit) last year with Dillon (Doyle) and really enjoyed it," Mabry said. "So I’m just looking forward to getting back in Kinnick. Haven’t been to a game this year so far. Just the environment and getting to see the facilities and everything. … Hopefully meet some of the coaches and reconnect with them."

Mabry doesn’t have any recruiting stars at the moment (if that matters to you). That could very well change this summer, though, as he plans to travel to several college camps throughout the region.

"Probably mostly around the Midwest and possibly beyond," he said. "We’ll have to see what happens."

Kennedy targeted a receiver Mabry covered just once Friday night. And it mostly ran the ball up the middle, where Mabry wasn't. Still, he flashed his full range of talent.

Here are a few highlights from what we saw ...

Not big sample size, but solid in pass coverage

CLOSE

Cyclones LB/DB target Cole Mabry consistent in pass coverage, broke up only pass thrown his way.

Most often, Mabry lined up at linebacker or on the edge at the line of scrimmage. He would drop back into pass coverage when he played linebacker, and he consistently hung with his man. Only once was his receiver targeted, and that came when he lined up as a cornerback. He blanketed his receiver up the far sideline, turned around to spot the ball and broke up the play, which you'll see in the video. Kennedy didn't throw the ball in his direction when he played safety.

Quick to identify plays

CLOSE

Cyclones LB/DB target Cole Mabry shows range in tackling ability.

Mabry was able to quickly recognize a run or pass play, and adjust accordingly. On one play, he initially dropped back in pass coverage before zooming to the ball-carrier for a tackle. On another play, Mabry lines up as an outside linebacker, tracks the ball-carrier running outside and helps stuff him for a minimal gain.

Offense, too?

CLOSE

Yes, Cyclones LB/DB target Cole Mabry can play offense, too.

With his speed and size, Mabry can cause some problems as a ball-carrier, so it's no surprise West utilizes him in a wildcat formation. He entered Week 7 with two carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. And he added one carry for 5 more yards Friday night. On one play, he followed blockers to his left before cutting to his right and taking tacklers with him the final yard. He's certainly versatile out there.

Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at mbain@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewBain_.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE