Campbell's first class mixes freshmen, experience

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell brings in a recruiting class that some services rank in the top 50, a rarity for the Cyclones.


AMES, Iowa (AP) — Matt Campbell took his first step toward winning over Iowa State fans Wednesday, bringing in a recruiting class that appears to be among the program's best in recent memory.

The Cyclones signed 36 players, including a handful of junior college newcomers who could push for starting jobs by August. Iowa State's class of 2016 was even rated among the top 50 nationally by some recruiting publications, a rarity for a school with an historic lack of success.

Experienced newcomers such as defensive backs D'Andre Payne and Thadd Daniels were augmented with the likes of incoming freshmen Sean Foster — the rare consensus four-star recruit to commit to Iowa State out of high school — and 6-foot-6 tight end Chase Allen.

Other things to know:

BEST IN CLASS

DBD'Andre Payne: He played as a freshman at Tennessee after turning down offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson and others coming out of high school. Payne spent a year at Arizona Western focused on academics before landing at Iowa State, where he is expected to make an immediate impact.

BEST OF THE REST

At 6-foot-8 and 285 pounds, Sean Foster has the pedigree to become Iowa State's future left tackle. Eyioma Uwazurike has potential as a defensive end, and quarterback Jacob Park is a former Georgia Bulldog who at the very least gives the Cyclones a backup to incumbent Joel Lanning.

LATE ADDITION

Twin defensive linemen Jaquan and Joshua Baily, both 6-3, from Jacksonville, Florida. Iowa State always seems to be in need of line help, and getting two three-star recruits from Florida on signing day was considered a coup.

ONE THAT GOT AWAY

John Raridon, a tackle from nearby West Des Moines Valley, chose Nebraska over the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes.

HOW THEY'LL FIT IN

Campbell signed players from nearly 20 states, a sign that he intends to have a national footprint in recruiting. His offensive philosophy will be more run-focused than former coach Paul Rhoads, and no one is quite sure how the Cyclones will attack defensively. But Campbell now has some fresh talent to bolster a veteran group.

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