Three-star Roland-Story athlete Zach Twedt (26) plays all over the field for his high school team. Literally. Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
STORY CITY, Ia. — At this time last year, Zach Twedt was an intriguing 6-foot-3, 195-pound athlete. Now, he's bulked up to nearly 220 pounds and has asserted himself as one of Iowa's most versatile defenders, with 103 tackles this fall.
Things are also much different with the Roland-Story athlete's recruitment.
At this time last year, Twedt was Iowa State's first and only 2021 recruit. A year later, the three-star, top-500 prospect seems destined to land anywhere but Ames.
The Register caught up with Twedt last Friday night, after he recorded 13 tackles and had 10 rushes for 85 yards and a touchdown (plus three catches for 36 yards) in a 25-7 loss to Vinton-Shellsburg.
Is he still committed to Iowa State?
"As of right now, yes," Twedt answered.
He went on to say he still hasn't heard from the Cyclones since Sept. 1, when college coaches could begin contacting junior prospects. Iowa State started backing off in the summer, when Twedt expressed an interest in hearing out other schools, he and his coach told the Register in September. Iowa offered him in June, and while the Cyclones have seemingly shifted their focus elsewhere, the Hawkeyes have made Twedt a high-level target.
Twedt took his second game-day visit to Kinnick Stadium last weekend for the Purdue game. He hopes to visit Iowa City again at some point this season, depending on how it fits in with his busy schedule during harvest.
"Great time — had a great experience," Twedt said of his most recent Iowa trip. "That was my first night game at Kinnick ever — and it was just extravagant, constant noise. Even when things weren’t going their way, Kinnick is just so unique. There’s always constant noise. That’s something I’ll definitely be a fan of — the constant noise — wherever I go."
Another school to watch? Kansas State, which has picked up its interest lately, Twedt said. Notre Dame and Nebraska are also in the picture.
In terms of a timeline, Twedt still wants to play out his season, see where his recruitment stands and then go from there. But it sounds like a decision could come by early 2020.
"It’d probably be in the winter, around Christmas break," Twedt said. "Maybe 2020."
The Register was on hand for Twedt's performance against Vinton-Shellsburg. Here's a brief scouting report from what we saw:
Can you say versatile? Here are all the positions Twedt played: linebacker, safety, wide receiver, running back, tight end and long snapper. He had a successful onside kick, too. Other than a goal-line stand where he spearheaded at the end of the first half, Vinton-Shellsburg mostly avoided him on defense. But Twedt's ability to play so many different positions — and look comfortable doing so — stood out.
"I could never do it without these guys," Twedt said of his teammates. "(They) have been selfless enough to where I’ve been able to work around the defense."
His best play of the game came at tight end, when the opposing linebacker tipped the ball and he kept his focus to still haul in the reception and turn upfield for a few extra yards. Twedt will likely play linebacker in college, but 'move' tight end could be an option, too.
Twedt is a good communicator and leader. He was clearly the quarterback of the defense. He was also the first to help an injured teammate, or to support someone who made a mistake on the prior play. That's important for the leader of a defense.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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