INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
A few days after receiving an offer from Iowa State, John Nagel pledged to the Cyclones.
The West Delaware senior tight end was previously committed to UNI, but flipped after receiving his first Power-5 offer.
A 6-6, 230-pounder, Nagel has seven catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns for the Class 3A seventh-ranked Hawks (3-0).
“He has a tremendous mind for the game,” West Delaware Coach Doug Winkowitsch said before the season. “He works extremely hard. He is very passionate. He gives us a lot more than just blocking and tackling. He’s just been a great young man to coach.”
Nagel caught 22 passes for 453 yards and four TDs — as well as 32 tackles, including six sacks, on defense — a year ago as West Delaware advanced to the Class 3A semifinals.
“He has tremendous body awareness for being that big,” Winkowitsch said. “He has a good base and naturally runs his feet. He is a tremendous player at the point of attack and has been something we have been able to build on, using him in so many different ways.”
Rivals.com lists Nagel as a 2-star recruit, who also had FBS offers from Army, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois.