Recruiting mailbag: Emerging Iowa tight end targets; latest with Tucker DeVries
Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
Oh, what a difference three weeks can make. Right?
Remember after Iowa State lost convincingly to Louisiana in front of a mostly empty Jack Trice Stadium on Sept. 12 — the start of a season where some pundits had seen the Cyclones as a College Football Playoffs dark horse?
That was a rough weekend in Ames.
Now, the story couldn't be more different.
After a win at TCU that got more impressive when the Horned Frogs topped Texas, and after last weekend's 37-30 win over Spencer Rattler and Oklahoma, Iowa State looks again like a serious Big 12 contender.
Up next: Texas Tech at home this Saturday.
Until then, let's get to this week's questions, which cover Iowa 2021 tight end recruiting updates, the latest with in-state star Tucker DeVries, Hawkeye 2021 hoops recruiting and the Cyclones' 2021 plans at quarterback.
Where does Iowa go with at TE with the imminent commitment of James Carnie to Nebraska? Do they try to flip Tyler Moore from Johnston?
In case you missed it: James Carnie, Iowa's current top 2021 tight end target, landed an offer from Nebraska earlier this week. The Lincoln, Nebraska native was down to Iowa and Kansas State with an Oct. 12 decision date looming. But it's thought the hometown Huskers will be nearly impossible to beat.
So, the Hawkeyes are back to the drawing board.
Tyler Moore is certainly a popular name right now. The Register's No. 13 in-state 2021 prospect, Moore is an Iowa State tight end recruit who's having an excellent senior season at Johnston; he has 39 catches for 475 yards and five touchdowns.
My impression, however, is it would be hard to flip him from his Cyclones commitment.
There are a couple more in-state names to monitor in 2021, if the Hawkeyes still want to add a tight end in this class.
Marshalltown tight end Carson Williams committed to Buffalo in June over a host of FCS, Group of Five and Ivy League offers. The Register's No. 30 in-state 2021 prospect, Williams told me he is still in contact with Iowa. In fact, he talks with in-state recruiting point man Jay Niemann once a week. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has 27 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Another name to watch: Iowa Central tight end Clayton Ollendieck, a Crestwood product. Even though Iowa Central hasn't played this season, Ollendieck, who checks in at 6-4 and 240 pounds, told me he's receiving interest from Northern Iowa and Murray State, and that Iowa coaches have told his coach they're considering extending him a preferred walk-on offer.
Iowa doesn't exactly have a shortage of tight ends on its roster, so this isn't a position of dire need in 2021. It's plausible that the Hawkeyes don't take a tight end in this class and instead prioritize finding one in the 2022 class.
Is it time for Drake fans to hit the panic button on Tucker DeVries?
While I understand being concerned as a Drake fan when DeVries told me his final four schools are Creighton, Iowa State, Oregon and Drake (one of these things is not like the other ... ), I don't think the Bulldogs are out.
I would still say Drake has good odds with Darian DeVries' son, the Register's No. 1 in-state 2021 prospect since January and a consensus four-star national prospect.
To me, DeVries will either choose to play for his dad ... or play for one of the three high-majors. All three offer similar opportunities and levels of competition.
Mid-major with Dad. High-major with someone else. We'll have to wait and see.
When he told me his final four, DeVries also said his decision would be coming soon, so keep an eye out for that.
With Payton Sandfort in the fold, is Fran McCaffery done recruiting for 2021?
In case you missed it: DeVries' Waukee teammate, Payton Sandfort, the Register's No. 2 in-state 2021 prospect, committed to Iowa over Drake, Stanford and Utah last week. He wrote a first-person essay for The Register explaining why.
While Iowa still has a 2021 spot to work with and I'd imagine coaches will still have eyes open for emerging talent, especially as seniors who didn't get many AAU opportunities finally get to play their high school seasons, the Hawkeyes certainly don't need another signee in the 2021 class. They've got plenty of youth on the roster from their five-member 2020 class.
What is ISU's plan with the 2021 quarterbacks after losing Charles Wright to Texas?
Since Texas three-star quarterback Charles Wright flipped from Iowa State to the Longhorns in late August, Iowa State has extended one 2021 quarterback offer to Utah three-star prospect Jaxson Dart, who also holds offers from BYU, Arizona State, UCLA and TCU, among others.
The Cyclones also have an offer out to Iowa City West dual-threat quarterback Marcus Morgan, the Register's No. 20 in-state 2021 prospect, who's enjoying a heck of a senior season. In three games played, he's completed 41 of 63 passes for 659 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception, and he's added 186 rushing yards and three more touchdowns.
I spoke with Morgan on Tuesday, though, and he said he hasn't heard from Iowa State lately. His other offers are UNI, Toledo, Dartmouth and Central Michigan.
Another in-state star having a great senior season is Ankeny quarterback Jase Bauer, the Register's No. 19 in-state 2021 prospect. Through six games, Bauer has completed 70 of 109 passes for 1,085 yards, 17 touchdowns and one interception, and he's added 422 rushing yards and four more touchdowns.
Before the season, Bauer told me that the Cyclones were keeping in contact with him. On Tuesday, however, he told me he hasn't heard a whole lot from Iowa State lately. The main schools on him are Wyoming, Eastern Illinois, South Dakota State, UNI, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois.
While it's always nice to get one quarterback per class, Iowa State isn't in desperate need of a 2021 signal-caller with Hunter Dekkers and Aidan Bouman both joining the team in the 2020 class.
Who would you entrust with the production of your commitment video and why?
Well, none other than the Register. Duh.
In all seriousness, we started a really cool thing with Clear Creek Amana defensive end T.J. Bollers in June, when he wrote a first-person essay for the Register in which he announced and explained his commitment to Wisconsin.
As I mentioned, Sandfort did the same thing for us last week when he picked Iowa.
I hope this becomes more common, because it gives prospects an opportunity to say their thoughts and feelings directly to their future college fans.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting and pretty much anything else under the sports sun for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
Your subscription makes work like this possible. Join today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.