Iowa Dominating Iowa State in Crucial In-State Recruiting Battle

Story by Derek Pech

Ankeny, Iowa – Matt Campbell was hired to be Iowa State’s head football coach in 2016. In his introductory press conference he said the following in regards to recruiting in the state of Iowa:

“We’re the Big 12 option in the mid-west. Quite honestly, we’re going to go where our roots are. We’re going to be an attitude and effort based program, and we’re going to find guys who fit that mold. Recruiting the state of Iowa is critical to our team’s success. In the four hour footprint around here there’s really good football, and we’re going to do everything in our power to recruit from that 4 hour radius and do a great job. We’re going to do our due diligence to be in every single school and do an unbelievable job recruiting this state and from there we’ll take our program where we need to in order to be successful.”

Well folks, it is the offseason and I had some time to kill so I decided to take a look at how the Hawkeyes and Cyclones are faring when it comes to the heated in-state recruiting battles. The following is a spreadsheet that I threw together showing information on the top in-state recruits in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 classes. Please note that you may have to turn your phone sideways to see all of the categories.

Class of 2017
In-State Rank Player Position # of stars (per Rivals) Commit Status Iowa Offer? ISU Offer?
1 Oliver Martin WR 4 Michigan
2 Tristan Wirfs OL 4 Iowa Yes
3 O’Rien Vance LB 3 Iowa State No
4 Mark Kallenberger OL 3 Iowa Yes
5 Rocky Lombardi QB 3 MSU
6 Devon Moore QB 3 Iowa State No
7 Jake Hummel LB 3 Iowa State No
8 Coy Kirkpatrick DE 3 Iowa Yes
9 Jacob Coons TE 3 Iowa Yes
10 Zach Dykstra OL 3 Miami
11 Levi Duwa DE 3 Iowa No
12 Alex Kleinow OL 3 Iowa State No
13 John Nagel TE 3 Iowa State No
14 Colin Newell OL 3 Iowa State No
15 Peter Nank OL 2 Miami of Ohio
Class of 2018
In-State Rank Player Position # of stars (per Rivals) Commit Status Iowa Offer? ISU Offer?
1 John Waggoner DE 4 Iowa Yes
2 Dillon Doyle LB 3 Iowa No
3 Tyler Linderbaum DT 3 Iowa Yes
4 Zach Petersen DE 3 Iowa State Yes
5 Trevor Downing OL 3 Iowa State Yes
Class of 2019
In-State Rank Player Position # of stars (per Rivals) Commit Status Iowa Offer? ISU Offer?
1 Max Duggan QB 4 Undecided Yes Yes
2 Ezra Miller OL 3 Iowa Yes
3 Darian Porter WR 3 Iowa State No
4 Tyler Endres OL 3 Iowa Yes
5 Mosai Newsom DE 3 Undecided Yes Yes

*Cedar Falls LB Jack Campbell is not listed on Rivals. He is a 3 Star on 247 and is a part of the 2019 class. He recently committed to Iowa and also held an offer from Iowa State.

Iowa running back James Butler (20) breaks a tackle by Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning, left, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa won 44-41 in overtime. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

What did I learn?

If in-state recruiting were a battle then the Hawkeyes are winning decisively. Cyclone fans can try to spin it however they want, but no rational person would come to any other conclusion. The numbers suggest Kirk Ferentz and Co. have not allowed Matt Campbell and his staff to impact them at all on the recruiting trail in the state of Iowa.

Sure, Campbell has landed a couple kids Iowa was after, but that has always happened. There have always been in-state recruits who grew up Cyclone fans or simply grew up on a farm and want to get a degree in agriculture. Those are easy wins for Iowa State. The battles that Matt Campbell needs to start winning are the toss-ups. The players who aren’t partial either way. He needs to figure out a way to convince them to come to Ames instead of Iowa City, and the reality is most of them are still heading to “that school out east”.

Here are some key takeaways after looking at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 in-state recruits: 

  • 9/11 Iowa commits held Iowa State offers. That’s 80%. 
  • Only 2/9 Iowa State commits held an Iowa offer for a measly 22%. 
  • One of the two Iowa commits that Iowa State didn’t offer was Dillon Doyle. Dillon is the son of Iowa’s legendary strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle. Campbell knew better than to bother with that one. 
  • Iowa State’s two highest ranked in-state recruits in these three classes, O’Rien Vance and Darian Porter didn’t hold an offer from Iowa (still time for Porter to receive one though).
  • The Hawkeyes landed 7 of the top 5 recruits (when looking at all three classes). Out of those 7 top 5 ranked in-state recruits their average ranking was 2.57. 
  • All of the top 5 ranked recruits that Iowa landed also held an offer from Iowa State… except for Dillon Doyle of course. 
  • The Cyclones landed 4 top 5 recruits (when looking at all three classes). Out of those 4 top 5 ranked in-state recruits their average ranking was 3.75. 
  • Only two of the four top 5 ranked recruits that the Cyclones landed even held an offer from Iowa

Summary

Matt Campbell and his staff have landed just two in-state recruits that also held an offer from Iowa. Those two recruits are Zach Peterson and Trevor Downing, and neither of them are what anyone would consider a “steal” for Campbell. Not because they aren’t good recruits, but because they were likely Iowa State locks no matter what. Peterson’s father, Troy Peterson, played nose tackle for Iowa State in the 1990’s, and he wants a degree in agriculture. Trevor Downing also wants to major in agriculture.

In that same time frame, Kirk Ferentz and his staff have landed 8 commits from the state of Iowa who also held an offer from Iowa State.

Sorry Cyclone fans… you may think there is a storm brewing, but it will always be a Hawkeye State!

 

 

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