Notes from Iowa State’s 2020 Early Signing Period


By Matt Belinson [email protected]

Matt Campbell talks to the media Wednesday about his 2020 recruiting class. Campbell said multiple members of the class show “high character.”

Noah Rohlfing

Iowa State had a calm Wednesday as the Early Signing Period got underway. The Cyclones were quiet, as 20 players from the 2020 class sent in their Letters of Intent (LOI) and two recruits who grey-shirted were added to the scholarship count.

The class is currently ranked 43rd in the 247Sports Composite ranking, good enough for sixth place in the Big 12. 

In the evening press conference from coach Matt Campbell, he went into detail on some of the class’s key members, revealed an (official) position change for a 2019 recruit and more.

Hutchinson video pops for Campbell

Xavier Hutchinson was the star skill position player on offense for the Cyclones in the 2020 class, with schools like Nebraska and Arizona State gunning after the junior college wideout. Campbell was extremely high on Hutchinson throughout the process, and Wednesday Campbell said he thought Hutchinson was the best in the country.

“I don’t know if there’s a better wide receiver in the country right now coming into a college football program than what Xavier is,” Campbell said. “I think you saw that in his recruiting towards the end.”

At 6-foot, 3-inches tall and 200 pounds, he fits the mold of what the Cyclones will need at the position going forward without La’Michael Pettway next season. 

11 early enrollees

Eleven of Iowa State’s 22 signees will be on campus in January — the most for the Cyclones in the era of the Early Signing Period. 

Campbell said he wasn’t for or against the early enrollees, pointing out that Brock Purdy had success over coming in June as opposed to January. However, starting running back Breece Hall was a January enrollee and it helped the freshman get integrated with the offense before his breakout October and November. 

Two of the early arrivals are grey-shirts in D’Shayne James and Dae’Shawn Davis. James dealt with an injury form his senior season in high school and helped out with his high school football team in his off year, while Davis enrolled for a semester at Iowa Western and “redshirted” there — making it unclear if his eligibility clock has started or not.

Bankston fills a need

Latrell Bankston was a huge need for an Iowa State team who will be without Ray Lima and Jamahl Johnson. The junior college defensive tackle is one of the early arrivals, and Campbell said he was thrilled for the JUCO All-American.

“Certainly a guy that comes in and competes with some really good players in our program right now,” Campbell said. “It’s another year where we were really able to bolster [d-line] with really the top guy on our board.”

The two QBs with Dean moving to TE full-time

The Cyclones’ two-quarterback 2020 class was interesting given the addition of Easton Dean in the 2019 class and the already-present Purdy and Re-al Mitchell. But, as had been rumored often during the season, Dean will no longer be in the QB room, instead making his home at tight end. 

“He’s had a really phenomenal fall and a really great small camp at that position,” Campbell said. “I think that’s truly home.”

Hunter Dekkers and Aidan Bouman are the two new additions, and Campbell was especially high on the Cyclones’ only consensus four-star recruit in Dekkers. 

“How could you not say that this is a guy that’s gonna come here and compete to be the quarterback of your program?” Campbell said.