AMES — Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell preaches about creating the culture he wants.
That didn’t change Wednesday on National Signing Day. Iowa State had 18 players commit during the early signing period and three players sign on Wednesday — recievers Tayvonn Kyle and Joseph Scates and quarterback Brock Purdy.
“It’s a class that fits the culture of Iowa State’s culture,” Campbell said. “We got our kind of guys with this class. Of the 21 that are coming in, 12 of them played in state championship games and seven of those guys won state championships. They know how to win, they expect to win — there is a culture of winning in their history. Those guys have been team captains, they know what it takes to be successful in their academics.”
One of the key contributors that fit Campbell’s culture was junior college safety Greg Eisworth. On top of being a good fit, it came at a position of need. Iowa State graduated three safeties after last season.
Eisworth started his career as an early enrollee at Ole Miss out of high school before transferring to Trinity Valley Community College. Eisworth early enrolled again at Iowa State in January and is already helping lead the young guys.
“Having had this experience before, it gives me the opportunity to help those around me — especially the early enrollees that are coming in with me out of high school,” Eisworth said. “I’m able to lead them by example and tell them how everything is set up and how it’s going to work and give them pointers to be successful.”
Eisworth said he picked Iowa State because of Campbell and the relationship he built with him. The 6-foot safety said Campbell wasn’t like a lot of the other coaches that recruited him.
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“(The thing that makes Campbell different) is his character,” Eisworth said. “That’s honestly what it is. He doesn’t shoot you bull crap, he’s going to keep it straight up with you. He gets to know you on a personal level, you can have relatable conversations with him and he’s going to tell you like it is. That’s what I want in a head coach. That’s somebody who I want to play for.”
Campbell believes that’s why the Cyclones were able to land Purdy so late in the game.
“The thing we do really well is we are who we are,” Campbell said. “We don’t try to be somebody we’re not. In Brock’s situation, we were still able to develop a really good relationship. We didn’t sell him on flash, we didn’t promise him the world. We were who we were. Sometimes, I think people don’t realize that’s enough.”