Iowa State athletics communication
Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik unveiled his 2008 class of national football signees Wednesday with optimism while recognizing the true quality of this group of incoming Cyclones won’t be accurately judged for three or four years.
“The main concern we had going into this recruiting year to upgrade the athleticism of our football team,” Chizik said.
“That means speed, getting guys that can make you miss with the ball in their hands, guys in the secondary that can cover you. It was a focus throughout the football team. I think we have addressed that in a lot of ways.”
The class was balanced by position. Defensive end Jake McDonough, a fi rst-team all-stater from West Des Moines (Iowa) High School joined with quarterback Jerome Tiller, who passed for nearly 1,600 yards and 12 TDs last season at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, Texas. Tiller rushed also rushed for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior and was the member of Texas Top 100 by Rivals.com.
The class includes 22 high school seniors and one junior college transfer. The juco player is wide receiver Jason Carlson of North Dakota State College of Science. Carlson caught 46 passes for 747 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Another wide receiver add will be Rivals.com four-star recruit Sedrick Johnson of Arp (Texas) High School. Johnson had 41 reception for 633 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Two new Iowa State defensive backs are Leonard Johnson of Largo (Fla.) High School and Ter’ran Benton of Summit High School in Mansfield, Texas. Johnson played quarterback and defensive back for Largo. He passed for 911 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 958 yards and nine scores, leading Largo on a 13-game winning streak all the way to the Florida Class 5-A state semifi nals. Johnson also had 13 tackles and one interception. Benton showed great athleticism at Summitt, where he returned a fumble and a punt for a touchdown. Benton played both running back and cornerback.
Former Florida Rivals.com four-star high school tailback Bo Williams is part of the incoming class. He is already in school at Iowa State and will sit out the 2008 season after transferring from Florida. Williams, who hails from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., chose Iowa State over 16 other schools as his new home.
It was the second recruiting class for Chizik and his staff at Iowa State, although his 2007 class was built while he still was hiring coaches a year ago.
“As the head coach you are involved in recruiting all the players, and I really enjoyed that,” Chizik said. “As an assistant coach you are concentrating on your specifi c student-athletes. It has been a lot of hard work but I have really loved meeting these men and bringing them into our football family.”
Spring football starts March 25. The Iowa State spring football game is April 19 at 1 p.m. in Jack Trice Stadium The Cyclones open the 2008 season Aug. 28 against South Dakota State.