Steve Prohm says he’ll know more about Cameron Lard’s sprained ankle on Wednesday
Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome, once again, to the Cyclone recruiting mailbag. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it?
Three weeks, to be exact.
I was back home in California, soaking up Vitamin D before returning to a Midwest winter. Hopefully, all your holiday seasons were awesome and you’re recharged and ready for 2019. My family got me baking gear because I’ve been inspired by the greatest creation ever, “The Great British Baking Show.” So, if I ever vanish from Twitter for a few days, I’ll just be in my kitchen covered in flour.
Anyway … sports. You’re here to read about sports. Let’s get on with it.
What is Iowa State’s chance to land … either grad transfer Lawrence Cager or another tall WR name you know of? — @jrobs2003_josh
It’s too early to peg any receiver target to the Cyclones, but they’re involved with a few.
The biggest name would probably be Lawrence Cager, a graduate transfer who was a four-star 2015 recruit who picked Miami over Alabama and Ohio State, among others. He confirmed to me that Iowa State will visit him this Friday, and we’ll see what develops from there. Cager is 6-5 and 200 pounds, built very much like Hakeem Butler. He caught 45 passes for 681 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons at Miami.
Kendre Gant, a three-star prospect committed to Central Florida, told me Iowa State has started a relationship with him recently. At 6-3 and 195 pounds, Gant played receiver, safety, nickel and outside linebacker in high school. He said the Cyclones haven’t said where they’d project him, but Iowa State is looking at options at linebacker, secondary and receiver — so Gant could fit several needs.
Brandon Jordan, a three-star junior college receiver/tight end out of Ventura College in California, told me Iowa State has expressed interest and that he was set to call recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach Alex Golesh on Tuesday night. Jordan (6-6, 215) holds offers from Louisville and Fresno State. He officially visited Louisville in December but didn’t sign.
Also, some linebacker news: Allen Smith, a three-star prospect out of Loganville, Georgia, told me he has scheduled an official visit to Iowa State on Jan. 24-26. Originally a North Carolina recruit, Smith re-opened his recruitment in late November and the Cyclones offered this week. When an official gets scheduled this quickly, it’s usually a sign of serious mutual interest.
Next 2020 hoops prospect to officially visit Iowa State? — @Cade4ISU
The most likely candidate here is Dudley Blackwell, the four-star small forward from James Kane’s hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Blackwell, a 6-foot-6, do-it-all prospect, was originally set to officially visit Iowa State in November, but he had to catch up on school work after playing for Team USA at the Youth Olympics 3-on-3 tournament in Argentina. The plan was to set up another official during the new year.
That new year is young, obviously, and so far an official visit has not been scheduled. But I’m told that Blackwell and the Cyclones are in contact every week. The Florida product is a major 2020 target — No. 4 on my initial big board from December.
News on Zaylin Wood? — @TigerTweets23
Iowa State’s chances seem to be good with Zaylin Wood, a three-star defensive end out of Franklin, Georgia.
The Cyclones offered Wood in late August, even though he’d been committed to Temple since early July. Matt Campbell and his staff picked up momentum quickly, and it was thought that Wood was split between Iowa State and Temple.
When Wood didn’t sign with Temple in December’s signing period, that was a good sign for Iowa State.
When he de-committed from the Owls last week, that was an even better sign.
Xavier Foster updates? — @Erinmdw
If you’re an Iowa State fan, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good about how Xavier Foster’s recent visits to Ames have gone.
During his October official, Foster stormed the field after watching the Cyclones upset then-No. 6 West Virginia. And last weekend, Foster was on hand to watch Steve Prohm’s squad “manhandle” then-No. 5 Kansas in a raucous Hilton Coliseum.
I briefly talked with Xavier’s dad, DaJuan, and he said their experience at the game was good and that they were glad they got so see a good game. That’s their goal with these unofficial visits — to see good games, bolster relationships and get a sense of the home atmosphere. The Fosters have been to Iowa State and Iowa too many times to count, so they already have a clear idea of what each program has to offer. They know how coaches project Xavier in their system. They don’t really need to hear recruiting pitches anymore.
The major players are still the same. Iowa State and Iowa are positioned well. USC was Foster’s most recent official visit. We’ll see how UCLA firing Steve Alford affects its recruitment of Foster. (If UCLA does stay involved, I’d think it’s still a factor. The Fosters were more drawn to Westwood, the aura of UCLA and its track record of producing pros than they were to Alford.)
Kansas is in the picture, although it hasn’t been as involved as other schools.
To me, those are the five to watch. Although, Creighton and Baylor still have their hands in the fight for the four-star Oskaloosa 7-footer.
There are other schools in the picture, too, such as Duke and Kentucky. If Foster were to pick up an offer from either of those two, it’d likely have to come this spring or summer during AAU ball. Foster is averaging 15.3 points and 12.5 rebounds per game against Class 3A competition this season. That kind of high school dominance can keep a kid on a school’s board. But programs like Kentucky or Duke would need to see that kind of production against better competition — like he’ll face this spring and summer — before moving him up the board.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
Source: Des Moines Register