Led by All Big 12 player Allen Lazard and freshman Deshaunte Jones, Iowa State already has one of the deepest and most deadly receiving corps in the Big 12.
Iowa State signed two receivers today that should push the Cyclones to be even more lethal on the outside. A third announced his commitment.
Matthew Eaton signed his letter of intent in December and early enrolled for the spring semester. At 6’5, 205 pounds, Eaton is one of the top wide receivers from the JUCO ranks. He started his career at Temple before making the move to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi, where he caught 37 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns. Eaton will have two years of eligibility remaining at Iowa State.
At 6’5, Matthew Eaton has great size that allows him to battle deep down the field not unlike Allen Lazard. Ultimately, the goal is for Eaton to complement Lazard by giving Park another lengthy option to catch balls over the heads of shorter defenders, and Eaton has the physical tools to do that.
Eaton’s ability to explode off the line just isn’t there yet, which can often be chalked up as a timing issue. It should be a point of emphasis for the staff to fix this spring and fall.
Josh Johnson was a priority target for Matt Campbell. He is a 5’11, 170-pound 3-star recruit out of Central Arkansas Christian High School. He committed to Iowa State over offers from Vanderbilt, Minnesota and Indiana. Notre Dame made a push late before Johnson blocked communication with them on social media.
Josh Johnson has speed. He runs a 4.82 40-yard dash that should improve under Iowa State’s tutelage, which will allow him to beat defenders in the backfield.
Johnson is not overly quick to explode off the line. He’ll have to work on that if he wants to make a major impact. He will need every second to be able to beat the speed of the Big 12 secondaries.
Tarique Milton announced his commitment to Iowa State on National Signing Day. Though he is expected to be a part of the 2017 class, he was not announced by Iowa State on Wednesday. He is a 5’11, 165 pound 3-star receiver out of Manatee High School in Florida. Milton had offers from Kentucky, Louisville and Michigan State, though his recruitment remained fairly quiet up until his commitment to Iowa State.
Tarique Milton has been compared to current Cyclone Deshaunte Jones. He is a slot receiver that has great speed and vision. Milton can be versatile if need be; in addition to his 1,087 receiving yards during his senior season, he also ran the ball for more than 200 yards. His experience and ability as a punt returner could lead to early playing time.
Milton is small and lacks top end speed to break away on runs. He will have to count on his agility to make up for it. May be behind the 8-ball in the depth chart early on. If the staff can work with him on his skills and route running he will be a diamond in the rough.
2017 Wide Receiver Outlook
The corps of receivers is a strength of Iowa State’s. Allen Lazard will be returning and he’ll need a consistent threat opposite of him. Carson Epps and Hakeem Butler showed flashes, and this is where I think Matthew Eaton may fit into the rotation. Josh Johnson may see a similar fate as Jalen Martin did last year and end up with a redshirt. Deshaunte Jones is also back along with Trever Ryen, which gives Iowa State two formidable slot receivers, giving Jacob Park plenty of talented targets.