There are a lot of unknowns heading into next year’s football season - most notably the decision made by stud wide receiver Hakeem Butler on whether he will continue to play for the Cyclones in 2019 or go to the NFL.
If Butler does head towards the draft, there are significant shoes to fill - and ISU did a fantastic job of finding replacements at the wide receiver position for the future.
The Cyclones landed three receivers in this recruiting class, and all three have something to show for. They also received a commitment from one tight end, as we will go in-depth on all here.
WR Darien Porter
This 6-foot-4 180-pound athlete is the fourth-highest ranked recruit in this class, and rates out as a 3-star, and a 247 composite of .8681. The Bettendorf native and nation’s 97th best WR has been loyal to the Cyclones for nearly 12 months, and chose the good guys over the likes of Minnesota and Nebraska.
Porter is a tremendous athlete, most notable for his accolades on the track, as a 200-meter and 400-meter state qualifier who will vie for state champion this spring. Porter has a Big-12 ready body and legit 4.65 speed. He caught 27 balls for 440 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior year. Look for Porter to compete for playing time as a true freshman, as we have seen Campbell and company play their young guns more often than not.
WR Ezeriah Anderson
Anderson is a late-bloomer who came on the scene just recently. Assistant coach Tyson Veidt gave the 3-start recruit his offer only a month ago, and after last weekend’s official visit, he verbally committed, and then made it official this week.
The 6-foot-4 behemoth uses his body well, and is known widely as a downfield physical threat, especially in the red zone. Anderson hails from Florida, and had offers from Boston College (runner-up), Missouri, Oregon, Syracuse and Virginia. He will most likely be a redshirt, and I would compare him to current receiver Matthew Eaton.
WR D’Shayne James
This Arizona native hails from the same high school as ISU’s current quarterback (and future Heisman winner) Brock Purdy. In fact, the two hooked up for over 1,000 yards in James’s junior year, which is in fact the last time he played. The 6-foot-2 3-star receiver missed his entire senior year due to a knee injury, but all reports make it sound like he has recovered nicely.
Look for James to continue rehab and will most likely be redshirted during his freshman campaign. He accounted for 13 touchdowns in his junior year, and chose the Cyclones over Northern Arizona.
TE Skylar Loving-Black
Similar to Anderson, Loving-Black came on the scene late, receiving his offer November 27th. He also made his visit to Ames last weekend, and made it official on Wednesday. He is a bigger-bodied tight end who already weighs 220 pounds and can scoot!
The athletic California native is ranked as a 3-star recruit and gained a lot of love from the Ivy League schools - like Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and Yale. On top of that, Loving-Black held offers from Nebraska, Fresno State, Boise State, Arizona State and Colorado. He had seven receiving touchdowns his senior year, and will be added to a loaded group of Tight Ends on the Cyclone roster.