If you're one of the fans that's feeling extra negative about the upcoming football season, I offer the following as an invitation to harness some optimism. It appears that a successful first month of the football season may pay dividends well beyond Jack Trice Stadium, as Coach Prohm will be hosting five 2016 recruits on official visits before the football team heads to Lubbock on October 10th.
2016 Commitments to Date
Donovan Jackson - 8/30
Solomon Young - 8/31
What Jackson's Commitment Means for Xavier Simpson
If you find yourself asking what Jackson's commitment means for Xavier Simpson, I would say the impact is tangible, yet minimal. It's been no secret that finding two floor generals has been the direction Coach Prohm is looking to go, and having a JUCO and high school commitment would be ideal in my opinion.
If we're operating under the assumption that Monte Morris' stock takes off after his junior season and he declares for the draft, there's going to be plenty of playing time available at the point guard spot. Having Jackson step right in and grab the reigns while Prohm gets ample time to mold Simpson would be perfect.
Sadly, there is no Georges Niang type on the roster next year who can back up the PG spot in a pinch, and contrary to Monte's heavy usage rate last year (34 minutes/game), I believe most coaches would prefer having two capable point guards on the roster. Couple all of this with Prohm's track record with point guards (Isaiah Canaan & Cameron Payne), and I fully expect the Iowa State staff to keep pursuing the highly touted high school prospect.
What Jackson's Commitment Means for the Rest of the Class
Big guys like knowing who will be getting them the rock. Having Jackson commit early is a huge bonus in being able to sell your playing style and vision for the future to forwards that you're recruiting. For now, you're able to sell Jackson/Morris, which is a pretty lethal combination. I'm certain it helped a bit in closing the deal with Solomon Young, and of course it never hurts when your other recruits take notice too:
Congratulations to my bro @Pursuing_Dreams on committing to Iowa State Dominate your sophomore season at Iowa Western !— Emmanuel Malou (@EmmanuelMalou) August 31, 2015
If you read my summer sermon on big men, you're aware that I wasn't totally on board the Malou to ISU train. However, Jackson's commitment may just be the shot in the arm his recruitment needed, as we saw Emmanuel Malou schedule his official visit the very next day:
JUCO PF @EmmanuelMalou, who was in Ames unofficially Aug. 6-8, tells me he will take an official to Iowa State on Oct. 31, for Homecoming.— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) August 31, 2015
The two shared an unofficial visit weekend and this news follows the day after Jackson's commitment? Looks like I'll be watching this story a lot closer in the coming months.
So You're Concerned About Young's Ratings?
I wouldn't be. As always, it's better to judge a recruit based upon other interested parties. While USC, Washington, and Iowa State were the only confirmed offers from power five schools at this time, Young was starting to receive interest from the likes of Texas, Arizona State, UCLA, California, etc. and in my eyes, that list is only going to get bigger as his senior season progresses.
TJ Otzelberger had recruited Young a bit at Washington, and we know from experience that he's had success bringing in "underrated" prospects that turn out pretty well for the Cyclones. If you watch the tape, there's so many similarities between Young and Melvin Ejim that it's hard NOT to see it. That would be a lot of pressure to put on the kid, but if he ends up even close to that same career arc, you'd forget all about his "stars," wouldn't you?
It's still incredibly early, but how could you not be impressed with this staff's ability to close? Jackson takes an unofficial, commits, and cancels officials to other schools. Young takes an official and commits the next day.
We should find out more on Simpson's status relatively soon, but with all of the other officials coming up, Prohm really has a chance to solidify the core of this class before the season even begins. From what we've seen, I have no reason to doubt him either.
Updated Scholarship Chart
Now with more Donovan Jackson and Solomon Young!
Hopefully this will change due to some good news in the coming weeks, and I also wouldn't be surprised to see Jordan Ashton nab a scholarship for the upcoming season.
Upcoming Visit Schedule
Iowa State hosted Xavier Simpson (8/8) and Solomon Young (8/29) in the month of August. Here's who's slated to be on campus in September and October thus far.
|Jeriah Horne||6'7" - 210 lbs.||PF||HS 2016||September 12 (Iowa)|
|Darrion Strong||6'1" - 180 lbs.||PG||JC 2016||September 12 (Iowa)|
|Romello White||6'8" - 215 lbs.||PF||HS 2016||September 12 (Iowa)|
|Jakolby Long||6'4" - 200 lbs.||SG||HS 2016||October 3 (Kansas)|
|Eric Curry||6'8" - 210 lbs.||PF||HS 2016||October 3 (Kansas)|
|Emmanuel Malou||6'9" - 210 lbs.||PF||JC 2016||October 31 (Texas)|
Who's Romello White?
News of the Romello White visit admittedly caught me off guard. The former Tennesee Volunteer commit reopened his recruitment in April after the Tennessee coaching change, and a host of schools got involved, including our beloved Cyclones. His play this summer, specifically at the Adidas Uprising camp, had his phone blowing up from almost every Big 12 and SEC school.
Having not heard his name mentioned with Iowa State in the same sentence in a recent memory, I figured this was the end of the story. However, with news breaking that we secured one of his five potential official visits, it looks as if Prohm is working hard to sign the talented power forward.
Hearing that Iowa State will have four-star forward Romello White (http://t.co/mis3NfYova) in for an official visit on Sept. 12.— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) August 30, 2015
Recruit News & Notes
Amir Coffey & Eric Curry
Coffey is taking officials to both Minnesota (9/3) and Texas (9/19) in September. He is visiting his hometown Gophers with his friend, and fellow Iowa State target, Eric Curry. While Coffey hasn't scheduled an official yet, Curry will be in town on October 3 with Jokolby Long.
Iowa State expecting visits from Eric Curry (2016, Ark.) and Jakolby Long (2016, Okla.) on Oct. 3, according to a source.— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) September 1, 2015
Took an unofficial visit to Arkansas this past weekend. This follow up mentions the Razorbacks and Cyclones as schools likely to get a visit from the JUCO power forward.
Darrion Strong, Jeriah Horne, & Romello White
This trio of prospects will be on campus for the CyHawk showdown on September 12th. Horne has recently narrowed his list to six, and Iowa State made the cut along with Kansas State and Nebraska which will also be getting official visits. Looks like KU is in the mix for White too.
Donovan Jackson, Solomon Young & Emmanuel Malou
In case you missed it, Donovan is a Cyclone, and Malou liked it so much he decided to schedule his own official visit during Homecoming against the Longhorns. Solomon Young also pledged his allegiance to Cyclone Nation.
Long has scheduled visits to both Iowa State and Georgia.
A recent Prohm offer isn't deterring one of the best 2016 distributors from taking an official to Arkansas.
Iowa State and Marquette lead the pack of at least ten schools courting the Milwaukee area prospect.
Cook has scheduled visits to Florida, Arkansas and Iowa in the near future, and while Missouri and Iowa State made his top five list no confirmation of visit dates have surfaced as of yet.
After visiting Iowa State earlier this month, Xavier was in Champaign this weekend and liked what he saw from the Illini. According to his father, they're looking to make a decision quickly and may not need all of the visits to do so.
Feel free to comment with any recruiting questions, or tweet me @tom_danielson on the Twitter machine.