The offensive line has been a pain point for Iowa State over the last few years. Whether they’ve had a lack of talent, a lack of experience, or something else that keeps them from gelling as a unit... Something has always seemed to be lacking for the Cyclones up front.
But over the last few months, head coach Matt Campbell and offensive coordinator/O-line coach Tom Manning have quietly been putting together what could be ISU’s best offensive line since Pro Bowler Kelechi Osemele was mauling defenders at the start of the Paul Rhoads era.
Today, Khaliel Rodgers, a grad transfer offensive lineman out of USC, committed to play for Iowa State in his final year of eligibility. Rodgers will be able to play immediately in the 2017 season and brings nine career starts with him from his career with the Trojans (six at center, three at guard).
Rodgers is a 6-foot-3, 315 pound wall of man who is originally from New Castle, Delaware. Coming out of high school, he was rated as a 4-star on the 247Sports composite and competed in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Beyond USC, Rodgers also held offers from schools like Auburn, Iowa, Ohio State, Ole Miss, UCLA and more.
With his decision to come to Ames, Rodgers joins Michigan grad transfer David Dawson as players who will get one year in a Cyclone uniform. As it stands, the starting ISU O-line figures to include Rodgers, Dawson, Jake Campos (who was injured all of last year), Julian Good-Jones, and prize class of 2016 recruit Sean Foster.
Michigan grad transfer David Dawson and USC grad transfer Khaliel Rodgers have been friends since the 2013 recruiting class, BTW.— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) January 29, 2017
Rodgers was ranked as the No. 1 overall center in the 2013 class while Dawson was the No. 3 overall guard in the same class. Not bad.— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) January 29, 2017
With solid line play throughout the duration of the 2017 season, Iowa State’s offense has the pieces to be one of the top units in the conference. Giving Jacob Park time to throw the ball and the combo of David Montgomery, Mike Warren, and Kene Nwangwu holes to run through will go a long way toward putting more points on the board.
National Signing Day 2017 is this Wednesday, so stay tuned for more (hopefully good) recruiting news to pop up over the next few days for ISU.