Three-star Roland-Story athlete Zach Twedt (26) plays all over the field for his high school team. Literally. Des Moines Register
Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
As always, feel free to send me questions over Twitter or to firstname.lastname@example.org. I know I do the weekly call-out for questions on Twitter on Monday, but I'm happy take questions any other day of the week, too.
Let's get to this week's answers.
How did the Murray twins come to receive a scholarship offer? — @Herkyville
In case you missed it: Cedar Rapids products Keegan and Kris Murray, twin sons of former Hawkeye Kenyon Murray, committed to Iowa after receiving offers during an official visit over the weekend.
Originally 2019 prospects out of Cedar Rapids Prairie, the Murrays opted for a post-graduate year at DME Academy in Florida and moved to the 2020 class.
This was a pretty common question this week. And not in a negative way toward the Murrays; I think many people just don't know much about them and are curious about how their paths led them to Iowa.
Keegan and Kris Murray were good high school players at Prairie. They'd get you about 20 points and six rebounds a game, while shooting nearly 40% from long range. Plus, they're listed at 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-7. They weren't seen as top-tier prospects in Iowa's 2019 class, though. Western Illinois was their only Division I offer out of high school. College coaches told me they liked the Murrays' skill, but there was a lack of athleticism and physicality.
Still, shooting translates to the next level and it's the most important trait in basketball. And if you can shoot and you're 6-7/6-8 on the wing, there's a spot for you in college basketball.
So, after their senior years, I put them in the Register's top 15 (they were No. 15A and 15B) for 2019. Their upside was just too good to not have them on the list.
But I'd be lying if I said I saw them rising this far. Kudos to them.
Here's basically how it happened: Kenyon Murray told me this week that Iowa started showing interest in his sons over the summer, but things started to slow as the Hawkeyes pursued targets higher on their board. And the Murrays understood that. They just put their heads down and kept working.
Things picked back up again when Fran McCaffery flew to Florida to see the Murrays in September, Kenyon said. By that time, they had started at DME Academy, where they had added bulk and improved in the physicality they lacked in high school.
Then, the Murrays performed quite well in Hoop Xchange's All-American Jamboree in October. At that point, Kenyon said Cal, Drake, Illinois State, Missouri State, Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern inquired about one or both of his sons. Their prep coach was also set to speak with Auburn about them before they visited Iowa.
Obviously, the Murray twins didn't need to see anything else after their Iowa visit.
With the additions of the Murray twins, what does that mean for 2020 recruiting? (Is Iowa) done? — Dennis
No, Iowa is not done with its 2020 class.
As of today, if Jordan Bohannon returns next year, the Hawkeyes' 2020 recruiting class is full. (Riley Till's scholarship is just for this season, so he'll be off the books in 2020.)
But with Xavier Foster and Josh Ogundele still out there, Iowa is not done. It would love to land at least one of those guys.
So, where will the scholarships come from?
Well, there's one if Bohannon plays this season and doesn't return in 2020. If Joe Wieskamp goes pro after his sophomore year, that opens another. Also, players transfer every offseason. Who that may be? It's not fair to speculate before the season even begins, but it's not hard to imagine a spot coming open that route.
And, while this would probably be the last resort in McCaffery's mind, Patrick and/or Connor McCaffery could also not be on scholarship for a year or two.
Any scenario Iowa gets and takes (Josh) Ogundele and (Xavier) Foster? — @BenFlaherty21
Yes, that is definitely a potential scenario.
I talked with Foster's father and his high school coach this week, and the Murray twins' commitment doesn't affect Xavier's Iowa recruitment. He plays a different position. Plus, this wasn't a surprise to him; Fran McCaffery made sure to stop by Oskaloosa last week to give Foster's camp a heads up that the Murrays would likely commit.
(That was smart, because the last thing you want is for your top target to be suddenly surprised by two commitments in his class.)
I also heard from Ogundele on Wednesday, and he said the Murray twins' commitment has no effect on his Iowa recruitment. Again, they play different positions, and room in the 2020 class likely won't be an issue.
(Is Zach Twedt) still an ISU commit? — @jrobs2003_josh
I was up in Roland-Story last Friday to check in with three-star junior Zach Twedt. I asked him if he is still committed to Iowa State, and he said he is.
Ames almost certainly won't be where he plays his college football, though.
Twedt hasn't heard from the Cyclones in a long time — at least since Sept. 1, when college coaches could start contacting with junior prospects. Iowa State has seemingly shifted its focus elsewhere, a process that Twedt's coach, Aaron Stensland, told me began when Twedt expressed an interest in hearing out other schools.
"At first, they were pretty open to the idea of him checking things out (at other schools)," Stensland said in September. "But I think as things have gotten more serious, I think they’ve probably backed off some. They’ve got to recruit other kids."
Twedt committed back in January of his sophomore year. He told me he did so because, at the time, he wanted his spot secure in case Matt Campbell left Iowa State.
Right now, Iowa feels like Twedt's most likely landing spot. The Hawkeyes offered in June and have recruited him hard ever since. Kansas State is also very interested, and Nebraska and Notre Dame are in the picture, as well.
Who will most likely be Iowa State's main target in football for 2021? — @isu4life23
Oh man. Well, you figure it's got to be an in-state kid, because you want to win your home state first and foremost.
So I'd say Clear Creek Amana four-star defensive end T.J. Bollers. The Cyclones were his first offer back in January of his freshman year, and they've been a big presence in his recruitment ever since. The relationships here are quite strong.
Iowa State would be in Bollers' "top group" of schools right now.
I'm betting the Cyclones, and everyone else pursuing Bollers, will add some new competition before all is said and done, though.
T.J. Bollers details what's transformed into an full-fledged elite recruitment. Des Moines Register
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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