After Texas Tech’s big day yesterday, it was easy to miss Iowa State landing two three-star commitments from Gerry Vaughn and Christian Young. That’s kind of representative of Iowa State’s 2018 class: quiet, and extremely solid. Matt Campbell has compiled a bunch of three-stars that could absolutely play at most schools in America after some development, and these two are no different. The Cyclones now hold 11 commitments, nine of which are three-stars, even after losing CJ Bolar yesterday. That’s the fourth most in the Big 12, behind Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas, all of which have at least one more commitment than Iowa State does (Kansas has 12).
— Gerry Vaughn (@Ochohendrix) June 18, 2017
THE VAUGHN FILE
Vaughn was the first of the two to commit to Iowa State yesterday. He’s the second linebacker to join Oklahoma State’s class, along with Blake Barron, although Barron is more of an inside linebacker. Vaughn will play on the outside in Ames.
Vaughn picked Iowa State over ECU, Maryland, Miami (OH), Rutgers and WKU. He also had interest from Arkansas, Wake Forest and Notre Dame, though all three schools wanted him to camp before they extended an offer. Iowa State extended an offer on May 12th, just a day after Vaughn landed three offers from Rutgers, Central Michigan and Western Kentucky. The Cyclones had been watching him for a while, and absolutely didn’t want to miss out on him by slow playing him, so those offers kind of forced their hand.
On the field, it’s easy to see why Iowa State was afraid of missing out of this kid. He’s a fantastic athlete, running a 4.6 40 time that really shows up on his film. Outside linebackers need speed, and Vaughn absolutely has speed. That speed helps Vaughn play extremely aggressively, as he’s one of the fiercest linebackers in the 2018 recruiting pool. He flies to the ball every single play, and can deliver some absolutely devastating hits. Sometimes that aggression can get him in trouble though, especially if he doesn’t get the ball carrier, because he has a tendency to take himself completely out of the play. He’ll need to work on his coverage skills and pursuit angles, but for right now, Vaughn is already an extremely fun player to watch. His ceiling comparison is Kwon Alexander.
— Christian Young (@C_Young711) June 18, 2017
THE YOUNG FILE
Christian Young, the second commitment yesterday, is the new number one player in Iowa State’s 2018 class, as he sits right outside of the top 600 in 247sports composite rankings. He’s the first safety in the class, but the third defensive back, along with Anthony Johnson Jr and Jaeveyon Morton. Christian may seriously be one of the best safeties in the country, and should get a hefty rankings bump after his senior season, because he’s a stud.
Young picked Iowa State over 22 other offers, from Arizona, Arizona State, Houston, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon State and Purdue. TCU, Oklahoma State, Utah and UCLA all showed interest in Young, but wanted to wait and see what he does in his senior season, which does mean that Iowa State might have to do some fighting to hold onto his commitment. Iowa State has been the favorite for Young since they extended an offer in March, and after he visited Ames over the weekend, he was sold on being a Cyclone. He loves the coaching staff, and they love him and his game.
On the field, as I said before, Young is probably one of the best safeties in the country. He doesn’t have great size (6-foot-1 is fine for a safety though), but he’s a fantastic athlete with a nose for the ball, and a sky-high ceiling. He plays both cornerback and safety for his school, and could end up at either in Ames, though I expect him to be put at safety. The skills that he’s learned at corner translate very well to safety, and that’s a big reason that Iowa State wants him. It’s rare to find a player capable of playing safety with the coverage skills that Young has coming out of high school. His tackling will need some help, but in terms of coverage, Young should be ready to go as soon as he steps on campus. His ceiling comparison is Reggie Nelson.