In less than 60 days as Iowa State football's new head coach, Matt Campbell has helped the Cyclones' class of 2016 climb 34 spots in the national recruiting rankings.
Over the weekend, Campbell and his staff received a verbal commitment from one of the premier tight ends in the country - someone whose family has lineage within Iowa State University. Nixa, Missouri's Chase Allen, the son of (former ISU Assistant Coach) Terry Allen, is ranked as the 21st best tight end in the country and chose the Cyclones over a number of top tier programs.
Allen received his first phone call from Tight Ends Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Alex Golesh in the first week of December. Less than two months later, he pledged his commitment to ISU over the likes of Michigan, Nebraska, Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and others. To say Allen's commitment is a big get is an understatement.
This class is shaping up to be one of the best this school has had, and the coaching staff isn't finished yet. It's still an unknown as to how many scholarships this staff can fill, but we will probably see a few more commitments in the next few days.
There were a couple visitors to Ames this weekend, and multiple in-home visits by the ISU staff to recruits' homes. Here are the remaining un-committed targets for this 2016 class.
Top Remaining Targets for the 2016 ISU Football Recruiting Class
OLB/DE Jalen Cochran
We start with a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker from Michigan. Cochran was previously recruited by Toledo's staff, and was offered the first day that Campbell became coach at ISU. The versatile linebacker is pass-rushing machine and has been a focal point of this staff since day one. He is the 32nd ranked linebacker in the country, a 3-star and visited ISU on Jan 15th. Currently, it is down to Miami of Ohio, Arizona, and ISU.
WR Deshaunte Jones
Jones is the goal of a three-way race featuring ISU, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati for his future college destination. He's the highest ranked target for this staff, as he is a 4-star and the 57th best wide receiver in the country. The 5-foot-10 athlete hails from Ohio, and has remained in contact with Campbell and his staff since their days at Toledo. Jones visited Ames this weekend, and would be a terrific addition to this class.
JUCO QB Jacob Park
Virtually an unknown until this weekend, Park is a front-runner to sign with the Cyclones. The 6-foot-4 signal-caller was named Mr. Football in 2013 in the state of South Carolina, and signed with Georgia out of high school. He was a 4-star in 2014, was the 12th ranked QB, and had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Notre Dame. Due to no playing time, Park transferred to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and re-opened his recruiting for 2016. He would be a huge get for this class and likely fight for playing time with Joel Lanning this season.
RB David Montgomery
Montgomery hails from Ohio and is the 69th best running back of this 2016 class. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder rushed for over 6,400 yards and scored 85 touchdowns in his last three seasons, and is being recruited by RB coach Louis Ayeni. He visited Ames on Jan 22-24, and did not make his previously planned visit to Illinois this weekend. Things look good for ISU on this one, as it is down to Iowa State and Illinois for the 3-star recruit.
WR Harry Ballard
This 6-foot-2 receiver from Missouri is also down to Illinois and ISU, as well as Maryland and Missouri. He received an in-home visit from cornerbacks coach D.K. McDonald this week, and will more than likely make his decision on Monday. Ballard is a 3-star recruit, and is ranked as the 162nd best WR in this class.
DE Jaquan Bailey
Bailey will be a tough one to land for the Cyclones. He visited Virginia Tech over the weekend, and Tennessee is still in the lead for Bailey's services. He is ranked as the 123rd best defensive end, is a 3-star, and has offers from Miami (FL), Cincinnati, Florida, Marshall, UNC, Pittsburgh, and others. It is still down to ISU, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. Jaquan would also like to play alongside the next guy on this list...
DT Joshua Bailey
Twin brother to Jaquan, these two have always said that they want to play together in college. Joshua may actually be the lead recruiter for his brother, and is also down to Tennessee and ISU. He visited Ames this weekend, and is a 2-star recruit. It's probably both or none for Iowa State regarding the Bailey boys.
WR Calvin Jackson
This 5-foot-9 160-pound speedster hails from Coral Springs, Florida, and visited ISU the weekend of the 22nd. It is unclear if ISU will have a spot for the 3-star recruit on its roster, and if they don't, he will more than likely end up at Toledo or Akron.
OG Dylan Powell
Powell was committed to Purdue until only a few weeks ago, and has now picked up offers from multiple Power 5 schools, among them ISU, Virginia Tech and Stanford. Powell made his trip to Ames on the weekend of the 15th, and is coming home from Palo Alto this weekend from a visit. The 6-foot-3 255-pound lineman is a 3-star, ranked as the 83rd best at his position, and will make his choice among his top three schools on Tuesday.
OT Alaric Jackson
Jackson is a behemoth, and at 6-foot-7 projects to play offensive tackle in college. The 3-star from Detroit, MI is ranked as the 34th best at his position and it appears made his last official visit to Ames. Cross-state rival Iowa is in the lead for the big man, and Michigan State and Nebraska are also in the mix. It will likely come down to Iowa and Iowa State for this one, with most signs pointing to a Hawkeye commitment.
OLB Chase Pine
Pine committed to Pittsburgh all the way back in June, and it seems it may stay that way. The 3-star visited ISU in December, and has offers from major schools like Cal, Georgia, NC State, Minnesota, and Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-3 218-pound speed rusher may still get an in-home visit this week from Campbell and company, but if not, he will likely end up remaining loyal to Pitt.
DE Chinedu Udeogu
The brother to ISU commit Oge Udeogu (JUCO offensive lineman), Chinedu plays on the other side of the ball and his claim to fame is rushing the passer. Udeogu visited Ames on the 15th, and also received an in-home visit from Campbell on Thursday. The 6-foot-5 3-star is ranked as the 98th best defensive end in the country and verbally committed to California in November. It will come down to Cal and ISU on Wednesday.
JUCO DE Justin Stewart
Stewart is a JUCO prospect who played at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. He has really come on as of late, and is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end who has visited New Mexico and ISU in successive weeks. He was in Ames this weekend, and it is down to the Lobos and Cyclones.
DE Jerrion Nelson
Nelson hails from Columbia, Missouri and is down to Syracuse and ISU. He is 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds, and is a 2-star.
DE Teton Saltes
Saltes is from New Mexico and has fallen off since the Campbell staff was hired on. He visited Ames in October, and has offers from major programs like North Carolina and Oregon. The defensive end is a 3-star and top-150 at his position. He visited San Diego State this weekend.
Only time will tell how this class will turn out, but so far you have to be chomping at the bit to see many of the commitments thus far get some playing time in a Cyclone jersey. Coach Campbell and his crew truly love recruiting, and have made it a focal point to go after some of the top talent in the country. Stay tuned to WRNL as we'll keep you posted on the signings all of this week.