AMES — Matt Campbell is poised to sign Iowa State’s best recruiting class in the internet era Wednesday during the early national signing period.
The class is ranked No. 39 overall and No. 4 in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma, Texas and TCU.
Once again, Campbell and his staff relied heavily on Iowa and other Midwest states to get their guys, which has been a focus of the staff since they took over.
Of Iowa State’s 21 commitments, 11 are from the Midwest, including four are from Iowa. The other 10 are from Florida (5), Texas (3), Arizona (1) and Georgia (1). In all, Iowa State is signing four offensive linemen, four receivers, four defensive backs, three defensive linemen, three linebackers, two quarterbacks and a long snapper in the early signing period.
The crown jewel of the recruiting class is 2019 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year Hunter Dekkers, who went to West Sioux and hails from Hawarden.
Dekkers is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound quarterback who has a 247Sports Composite score of 90. He’s a four-star recruit, ranked as the seventh best dual-threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports.
His composite score makes him the fifth-highest rated Cyclone recruit in 247Sports history behind the likes of Allen Lazard and Jierhl Brock, a running back who was a part of last year’s recruiting class.
Dekkers has the stats to back it up, too. He completed 62 percent of his passes this season for 3,640 yards and 36 touchdowns. He added 439 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns as the Falcons went 10-2 and reached the Class 1A semifinals. Dekkers threw for an eye-popping 48 touchdowns in 2018 for West Sioux, which won the Class 1A state championship that season.
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The Iowa State staff didn’t stop there for highly-touted quarterbacks. The Cyclones also got a commitment from Buffalo, Minn., native Aiden Bouman, who’s ranked as the 22nd best pro-style quarterback and has a 247Sports composite score of 87. Bouman is the son of former NFL quarterback Todd Bouman.
Aiden Bouman’s best season came as a junior when he completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,974 yards and 35 touchdowns. This season, the 6-foot-5 quarterback completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,185 yards and 27 touchdowns. Bouman will enroll at Iowa State in January.
Iowa State needed quarterback depth and a potential quarterback for the future. Currently, redshirt freshman Re-al Mitchell is Iowa State’s most vetran quarterback because he enrolled early.
The position will be Brock Purdy’s next season, and assuming he comes back for his senior season, in 2021 as well, which will make Dekkers and Bouman redshirt sophomores when they could have a chance to win the job.
While the quarterbacks could be the future of the program, perhaps the most important commitment of the class is defensive tackle Latrell Bankston. Bankston is a junior college transfer from Hutchison Community College in Kansas. If that school sounds familiar it’s because that’s where former Iowa State starting quarterback Kyle Kempt went after he transferred away from Oregon State.
Bankston is the No. 3 juco defensive lineman in the nation and has a 247Sports composite score of 88. His commitment is important to Iowa State because the Cyclones lose both Ray Lima and Jamahl Johnson, who have anchored Iowa State’s interior since 2017.
The Woodstock, Ga., native is 6-foot-1 and 285 pounds and chose the Cyclones over Arkansas, Arizona, Oregon State, Houston, Kansas State and Maryland.
Bankston had 50 tackles, 22 tackles for loss 11.5 sacks and a forced fumble this season for Hutchison.
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It’s hard, and probably foolish, to expect immediate production from recruits, but Iowa State needs Bankston to make an impact as soon as he arrives to help fill the void of Lima and Johnson. Bankston will be aided by the fact he’s enrolling early to get a jump on the 2020 season.
Iowa State has two other players committed where the reasonable thought is they could or should see the field right away. One is 6-foot-3 receiver Xavier Hutchinson, a junior college transfer from Blinn College in Texas. He should help replace some of the yards Iowa State got from fellow big-bodied graduate transfer La’Michael Pettway this season.
Hutchinson chose Iowa State over Oklahoma, Nebraska and TCU. He caught 47 passes for 652 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
The final marquee recruit of the 2020 class is ranked No. 3 at his position coming out of high school. He’s 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds. He hails from Arizona.
He’s Koby Hathcock — a long snapper. Iowa State is graduating Steven Wirtel, who was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly award, which recognizes the nation’s best long snapper.
Hathcock is expected to come in and fill Wirtel’s shoes.
Undoubtedly a lesser-known recruit will emerge for Iowa State — Mike Rose was a low-ranked 3-star that Iowa State had to flip from Ball State and Zach Petersen was a skinny defensive end from North Scott. But it’s impossible to get through them all and it’s impossible to predict the future, so you’re stuck with this.
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