The Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson and Tommy Birch discuss the upcoming men’s basketball match-up between Iowa State and Drake.
Kelsey Kremer, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMES, Ia. — Iowa State football coaches loved what they saw on film from quarterback Easton Dean.
From the film, they could see he threw a smooth ball. From the film, they could see he was a solid runner as well. But what they really liked from the film was the 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame Dean boasted.
They loved his frame so much that it almost seemed too good to be true. So the Cyclones invited Dean to Ames last December.
The Cyclones wanted to see it for themselves.
And during that December day, as Dean stood on the sidelines for one of Iowa State’s practices leading up to the Liberty Bowl, day during practice, Cyclones coach Matt Campbell saw everything he needed to out of Dean. So, after the practice, he invited the quarterback up to his office and offered the small-town Kansas quarterback a scholarship.
Iowa State film room: QB Easton Dean has room to grow, but athleticism projects as elite
“They called him to practice to come up there and watch practice just so they could eye ball him,” Dean’s high school coach Sean Price said. “They really wanted to see if he was (that big). Because, you see kids listed as you know, 6-5, 6-6, 6-7. And are they really that tall? Most of them are not.”
Dean really is. And that day is December proved it. And it’s part of the reason why Iowa State wanted to bring quarterback to Ames. This Wednesday, they’ll officially secure Dean when he signs his letter of intent to play for the Cyclones.
“I think that’s what that was all about,” Price said of the visit. “They saw the video. But sometimes video lies a little bit. So, they wanted to see the kid in person.”
The Cyclones liked what they saw. But the big body is just part of the allure of Dean. The other part was the fact that he was a dual-threat quarterback who could throw it and even run it in Price’s air-raid offense at Labette Country High School in Kansas. During Dean’s senior season, eh threw for 2,042 yards and 14 touchdowns and ran for 544 yards and four touchdowns.
But even with his multi-dimensional skill set and his big body, it took a little while for teams to catch on to Dean, who lives in the small town of Oswego, Kansas. The town, according to a 2010 census, includes just 1,829 people. Dean’s school, which has fewer than under 500 kids in grades nine through 12, and had never had a football player go straight from high school to a Division I program.
Price figured Dean could be the first. But he needed help. Division I coaches weren’t strolling down their hallways and they certainly weren’t regulars at their football games. So, they had to get the word out. Price encouraged Dean to Hudl highlight team for him to send out to teams. Dean took about two days to compile highlights from his junior season. When he was finished, Price started sending it out. Dean tweeted it. And coaches quickly started noticing who he was.
“It kind of took off from there, honestly,” Price said.
The interest from colleges then came coming. Iowa contacted him. Georgia came and watched him throw. South Dakota, South Dakota State and Wyoming all took an interest in him. North Dakota State swung by to see him. Iowa State, though, was the first Power 5 school to offer him. Dean quickly built a relationship with the staff.
“I just liked the coaches, and I felt like it was a good place to be,” Dean said. “We have something special going on there.”
Dean made sure he was going to be a part of it when he committed to Iowa State about two months after the Cyclones offered. The plan is to graduate high school early and enroll at Iowa State so he can be on campus on Jan. 10. When Dean arrives, he believes the Cyclones are getting something unique.
“Obviously size,” Dean said. “I feel like I can run too. So, I’ll be hard to bring down. Just a big body in the backfield. So, I can really be used in goal line situations and short yards and stuff like that.”
And that big body the Cyclones like may get even bigger. Dean said gets his big size from his parents, his father is Jeff 6-3 and his mom Cindy is 5-9. Dean even checked in at 6-5 when he was a freshman. That’s why Price wanted to make sure he utilized Dean one way or another his first two seasons, playing him at free safety and wide receiver his first two seasons.
Price said he’s grown ever since and part of the reasons is his relentless pursuit in the weight room. Dean is a beast there, maxing out at 415 pounds on the squat, 305 on the clean and 295 on the bench press.
“I think it helps a lot,” Dean said of his size. “I’m a little shiftier than normal people my size so that kind of helps me a lot for a big guy. That helps.”
Source: Des Moines Register