To say that Iowa State’s program is trending upward under Matt Campbell would be a pretty big understatement. After one of the best seasons in recent memory, including wins over Oklahoma, TCU, abd Memphis in the bowl game, optimism is very high in Ames, for good reason. The uptick in success isn’t just happening off the field, however, as Campbell is beginning to parlay the excitement into recruiting wins, a crucial aspect needed to build a winning program. While the Cyclones don’t have a top-level class by any means, it’s a very solid group, and last night, it got a lot better, as Ohio receiver Joseph Scates announced his commitment to Iowa State.
— Da Baby 9️⃣ (@ScatesJoseph) January 28, 2018
THE SCATES FILE
Scates is the 21st member of Iowa State’s 2018 class, and the third receiver, along with Sean Shaw Jr and Carson Schleker, both of whom signed with the Cyclones last month. This commitment puts Iowa State at number 50 in the 247Sports national rankings, and seventh in the Big 12, ahead of Kansas State, Kansas and Texas Tech. One of the most impressive things about Iowa State’s class is how national it is, as Scates is the second recruit from Ohio in the class (Michael Rose is the other), and Ohio is one of 12 states represented in the class.
Scates committed to Iowa State over offers from Michigan State, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pitt, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and West Virginia. A one-time Michigan State commitment, Scates has had some eligibility questions, hence the lack of an offer from local stalwarts like Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan, but the Cyclones are confident that Scates will qualify, and they wouldn’t have accepted his commitment if they weren’t. After this announcement, Scates is shutting down his commitment, and will be signing with ISU.
On the field, Joseph’s greatest asset may not be the thing he’s best at, but rather a rare skill in receivers: his blocking. He has a big frame at 6-foot-3, and while he’s still very wiry at 175 pounds, he’ll be an absolute beast when he adds some more bulk onto his frame. He’s physical, very willing to hit and block, and embraces contact whenever he needs to. He’s already a very solid red-zone threat, and could develop into an awesome possession receiver at the next level, when he improves his routes and consistently. Iowa State may have found the next Allen Lazard in this young man, and ISU fans should be very excited.