Recruiting mailbag: Latest on Xavier Foster; thoughts on Iowa's 2020 basketball class
Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
As always, feel free to send me questions over Twitter or to email@example.com. I know I do the weekly call-out for questions on Twitter on Mondays, but I'm happy to take questions any other day of the week, too.
Let's get to this week's answers.
So what is the crystal ball percent now after today’s news for the Cyclones to land Xavier Foster? — @jrobs2003_josh
By "today's news," this is referring to Cyclone freshmen Luke Anderson and Marcedus Leech entering the transfer portal, which opens two 2020 scholarships.
Here's my honest answer: It's still 50/50, regardless of the recent news.
Over the past couple weeks, based on conversations and chatter behind closed doors, there were some days where I would say Iowa State is the favorite ... then others where I'd say it's Iowa. And I can tell you I am not the only person with knowledge of this recruitment who feels that way.
As of Monday afternoon, I was told there was no decision. Our Randy Peterson asked Foster's dad, DaJuan, on Tuesday night, and he said there was no decision yet, either.
Toss-up. We're splitting hairs here, folks. In my mind, I could see a decision happening over the weekend, and then the announcement Monday morning.
Specifically addressing the question, I don't think the Anderson and Leech news will affect anything. This decision will be based on three years of recruiting, not something that happened a week before signing day.
We'll find out at 9 a.m. Monday., when Foster is set to announce his decision during a press conference at Oskaloosa High.
Is Iowa State still in on Hopkins Minnesota Sharp Shooter Kerwin Walton? — @LoganHayes_30
Doesn't sound like it, no.
Iowa State just landed another 2020 target who plays Kerwin Walton's position in Charlotte three-star shooting guard Darlinstone Dubar — an early and obvious candidate for the Big 12's "All-Name" Team.
The Cyclones offered Dubar on Oct. 16, about a week before Walton took his official visit to North Carolina. Walton had recently taken an unofficial visit to Ames for the Cy-Hawk game, but he had been trending toward other schools for some time.
Meanwhile, Iowa State got heavily involved with Dubar right away. About a week after offering Dubar, following a stop in Detroit to see Jalen Terry, assistant coach William Small met with Dubar's parents to lay the groundwork for last weekend's official visit. Small is close with Dubar's prep coach, Scotland Campus Sports' Chris Chaney, which helped speed things along.
Iowa State now has a 2020 point guard (Jaden Walker) and two off-ball perimeter players in Dubar and Dudley Blackwell.
It would love to add a certain big from Oskaloosa to the mix.
If Iowa does not get TE Theo Johnson, who gets that scholarship? Or will they give it to let’s say a Kyler Schott or Joe Evans? — @dubgua12
It feels like every year, Iowa targets a fringe-Power Five prospect within Iowa for one of its final few scholarships. It was Van Meter defensive end Chris Reames (and an attempt at Cedar Falls receiver Logan Wolf) last year. In 2017, it was South Hamilton linebacker Logan Klemp and Ankeny Centennial defensive back Riley Moss.
So, if Iowa misses on four-star Canadian tight end Theo Johnson, I'm not sure if his scholarship goes to an under-the-radar in-state kid; there may be other targets Iowa still has on its big board.
But, either way, I'd imagine we'll see Iowa identify someone from this state before the December early signing period.
One name I keep coming back to is Nolan Jacobs, the defensive lineman out of Cedar Rapids Kennedy. Iowa has seen him, because he's teammates with 2021 Iowa offensive lineman recruit Connor Colby. He's a versatile, 6-foot-3, 250-pounder who can play end or tackle. And he's had a tremendous season, ranking third in Class 4A with 20 solo tackles for loss as a leader on one of the state's best defenses.
Also: He's currently committed to North Dakota State. And when the FCS juggernaut Bison like a kid, that means something. Remember, Iowa flipped Moss from NDSU, and he's turned out to be a steal.
Why is it, in your opinion, Iowa isn’t having any luck signing these early offered and highly rated [basketball] players? — Fred
Before getting into the answer, I do want to say this: Landing any of your top-tier targets is hard. There's a reason it's such a huge deal when it happens, especially for programs that don't rhyme with Shnuke or Bentucky.
With that said, I've heard from plenty of Hawkeye fans who look at their team's 2020 class as it stands and wonder: Is this good enough for the Big Ten?
To review, Iowa has landed Chicago point guard Ahron Ulis, Indianapolis shooting guard Tony Perkins and Cedar Rapids twin wings Keegan and Kris Murray. None of those guys had any high-major offers other than Iowa, unless you count DePaul for Ulis. The Hawkeyes beat schools such as Bradley and Ball State for Perkins. And they beat Western Illinois for the Murrays, who were admittedly starting to pick up more interest.
On paper, this looks more like a mid-major class than a Big Ten class.
Of course, that's just on paper. Jordan Bohannon was considered a low- to mid-major prospect, and he's become a Hawkeye legend. C.J. Fredrick was a fringe high-major kid and he looked excellent during Monday's exhibition. Heck, Nicholas Baer wasn't even rated coming out of high school.
So just because a kid doesn't have stars or a handful of high-major offers doesn't mean he won't be a good high-major player. Fran McCaffery and his staff trusted their evaluations to offer these kids, and that should mean something.
At the same time, comparing Iowa's class to others in the Big Ten, I do think it's fair to scratch your head and wonder, if you're a Hawkeye fan.
(Obviously, all that head-scratching goes away is Foster picks Iowa.)
What can you tell us about Trejuan Holloman, @CycloneMBB latest scholarship offer? — @ted_rood
Iowa State offered Trejuan Holloman, a 2022 point guard out of Minneapolis, on Halloween. The Twin Cities metro has become a hotbed for talent lately, and Holloman projects as one of the area's best 2022 products.
He already holds other offers from Baylor, Iowa, Marquette, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin. He plays his AAU ball with Howard Pulley, and his AAU coach, Rene Pulley, told me Holloman visited Iowa earlier in the fall.
It's still very early, obviously. But when a sophomore already holds this many high-major offers before the season, chances are he'll wind up in or near the top 50.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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