Cyclones grab first two wide receivers for the 2022 recruiting class


Liz Parke

Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell speaks to the media at the 2021 Big 12 Football Media Days on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.

Tom Turner

The Cyclone recruiting staff continues to bring in highly rated recruits, picking up two commitments from wide receivers in the class of 2022.

On Friday, three-star wide receiver Jason Essex announced his commitment to Iowa State on Instagram Live. The Kansas City native had his official visit to Iowa State during the first weekend in June.

Essex is listed at 6-foot-3-inches, 192 pounds and is rated the 895th recruit in the overall class. According to the 247 Composite, Essex is listed as the No. 120 wide receiver in the 2022 class and the 20th best player in Missouri. He had other offers from Baylor, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Kentucky and Iowa.

The following day, Iowa State might have gotten its biggest catch on the offensive side of the ball this off-season. Four-star wide receiver Greg Gaines announced on his Instagram that he would join Matt Campbell and Iowa State football. The Cyclones’ newest recruit had offers from Penn State, Tennessee, Georgia, Auburn, West Virginia and Florida State. 

Gaines comes in at 6-foot-2-inches, 185 pounds and is the 39th-best ranked recruit in the state of Florida for 2022. He is from Tampa, Florida, and is the No. 329-ranked prospect in the nation, along with being the No. 47-ranked wide receiver, according to the 247 Sports Composite.

Gaines has gotten comparisons from Iowa State’s very own Xavier Hutchinson. Both players are excellent in one-on-one coverage and with their catching ability. Gaines already has a good relationship with Cyclone players such as Rocco Becht, a quarterback commit for the Cyclones. Both have known each other for over a year and visited Iowa State during the same weekend.

With Gaines becoming a Cyclone, Iowa State has reached 16 total commitments in the 2022 class. Iowa State’s recruiting class has now rolled into the top 25 nationally with the No. 23-ranked recruiting class. The Cyclones are also now the No. 5-ranked class in the Big 12.