Iowa State football focuses in on top remaining recruiting targets

Chris Cuellar
The Des Moines Register

Recruiting for 2018 is far from over, but Iowa State is already down to its final few scholarship spots.

The race for 2019 talent is on, and head coach Matt Campbell’s staff has extended more than 100 offers to current high school juniors.

Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell answers questions from members of the media Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, during Iowa State Football media day in Ames.

So, where does that leave the Cyclones this month? Paring down their priority prospects and targeting future players during an all-important bye week.

Iowa State currently has 15 verbal commitments for a 2018 class that will likely close with around 20 recruits and an empty 2019 board that is likely dependent on this season’s on-field performance.

The Register spoke with sources this week to outline some top remaining recruits the Cyclones are chasing for a commitment.


2018, offensive line, Deer Valley (Ariz.)

Deer Valley's offensive line Xavier Robinson-Delgado (L-R), Bryce Taylor-Wyers, Gunnar Johnson, Brandon McCrea, Noah Cervantes and Joey Ramos at Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Ariz. on August 3, 2017.

Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tom Manning made sure the Cyclones were the first Power Five program to extend an offer to the 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle, and they’ve stayed involved as Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington have stepped in. Ramos put ISU among his top six selections back in July, and teammate Xavier Delgado added an offer a month later. Ramos is the No. 6 prospect in Arizona, according to 247 Sports. A 6-5, 300-pound tackle, Delgado is unranked as a recruit.


2018, defensive back, Chaminade (Calif.)

A three-star cornerback from suburban Los Angeles, Taylor-Cortez stands out at a rangy 6-3, even against elite competition in southern California. Holding offers from Arizona, BYU, Utah and other western programs, Taylor-Cortez took an official visit to Ames earlier this month. He has two interceptions and three deflected passes in three games for Chaminade this season and is considered a top 100 cornerback prospect nationally.


2018, defensive end, Munich

The intriguing German prospect burst on to the recruiting scene over the summer as a massive and raw talent surprising the camp circuit. He quickly added more than a dozen offers and had eyes from powerhouse programs monitoring his 6-6, 250-pound frame. He’s rated as a four-star athlete — projected at either defensive end or tight end — by 247 Sports, and took an official visit to Ames over Cy-Hawk weekend.

There will certainly be hurdles to clear to get a commitment and enroll an international prospect out of high school, but Campbell’s staff has shown it is willing to take a shot on the right talent.


2019, running back, Quincy (Ill.)

Iowa State isn’t yet out of its depth recruiting a consensus four-star running back rated in the top 100 nationally by 247 Sports. Brock has the speed, strength and skills to earn early offers from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan State and Missouri, and recent interest from Alabama and a swarm of blue-bloods. But Iowa State offered in April, Quincy is just across the river from Iowa, and Brock left a visit over Cy-Hawk weekend with positive feelings.

“It was a great atmosphere, and Iowa State gets great fan support,” Brock told Rivals. “The fans just never stopped rooting on the team, and that was impressive.”

Brock topped 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in the first seven games of his sophomore season, and he had 231 yards and four touchdowns in a Quincy win last week. The biggest question left with the 6-foot, 185-pound rusher: How long can the Cyclones stay in the race?


2019, linebacker, Burke (Neb.)

Midwestern programs are getting increasingly comfortable with moving into Cornhusker territory for prospects. Henrich, a 6-4, 200-pound athlete from Omaha, is finding that out this year, as Minnesota, Iowa State, and Iowa all beat his home-state squad to the punch with a scholarship offer. The three-star is currently considered the No. 3 junior prospect in Nebraska, and has 31 tackles and five sacks for the unbeaten Bulldogs (4-0).


2019, defensive end, Belleville (Mich.)

Just ask the head coach of third-ranked Belleville where Hunt stacks up against other top talent. Jermain Crowell has a pack of Power Five prospects on his roster, including four-stars Julian Barnett and Devontae Dobbs — both offered by Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and others — on defense, yet thinks the 6-2, 240-pound stands up with any of them.

“Everybody always looks at Julian and Devontae, and I’m thinking Hunt might be more special than all of them,” Crowell told the Detroit News earlier this month. “Hunt can fly and Hunt will hurt you. I’ve never had a kid that size that can run and hit you like that.”

Hunt also plays running back and linebacker, but projects as an explosive rush end. The two-star prospect holds offers from ISU, Kentucky, Bowling Green and Temple.