AMES — Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell preaches about creating the culture that he wants.
That didn’t change Wednesday on national signing day. The Cyclones had 18 players commit during the early signing period and three more sign on Wednesday — receivers Tayvonn Kyle and Joseph Scates and quarterback Brock Purdy.
“It’s a class that fits the culture of Iowa State’s culture,” Campbell said. “We got our kind of guys with this class. Of the 21 that are coming in, 12 of them played in state championship games and seven of those guys won state championships. They know how to win, they expect to win – there is a culture of winning in their history. Those guys have been team captains, they know what it takes to be successful in their academics.”
One of the key contributors who fits Campbell’s culture is junior college safety Greg Eisworth. On top of being a good fit, he comes to a position of need. Iowa State graduated three players from the safety position after last season.
Eisworth started his career as an early enrollee at Mississippi out of high school before transferring to Trinity Valley Community College. He early enrolled at Iowa State in January and is already helping lead the young guys.
“Having had this experience before, it gives me the opportunity to help those around me — especially the early enrollees that are coming in with me out of high school,” Eisworth said. “I’m able to lead them by example and tell them how everything is set up and how it’s going to work and give them pointers to be successful.”
Eisworth said he picked Iowa State because of Campbell and the relationship he built with him. The 6-foot safety said Campbell wasn’t like a lot of the other coaches that recruited him.
“(The thing that makes him different) is his character,” Eisworth said. “That’s honestly what it is. He doesn’t shoot you bullcrap, he’s going to keep it straight up with you. He gets to know you on a personal level, you can have relatable conversations with him and he’s going to tell you like it is. That’s what I want in a head coach. That’s somebody who I want to play for.”
Campbell believes that’s also why the Cyclones were able to land Purdy so late in the game. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback from Gilbert, Ariz., chose Iowa State over Texas A&M, Alabama and Central Florida.
Purdy put up video-game like numbers for Perry High School. He threw for 4,405 yards with a 65 percent completion percentage, 57 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He also ran 137 times for 1,017 yards and nine touchdowns. In total, he accounted for 66 touchdowns as a senior.
According to 247Sports, Purdy is the No. 36 pro-style quarterback in the class.
“The thing we do really well is we are who we are,” Campbell said. “We don’t try to be somebody we’re not. In Brock’s situation, we were still able to develop a really good relationship. We didn’t sell him on flash, we didn’t promise him the world. We were who we were.
“Sometimes, I think people don’t realize that’s enough.”
Iowa State signees
Trevor Downing, 6-4, 295, fr., OL, Creston
Zach Petersen, 6-4, 225, fr., DE, Long Grove (North Scott)
Zach Ross, 6-4, 300, fr., OL, West Des Moines (Dowling)
Corey Dunn, 6-1, 200, soph., PT, Numurkah, Australia (City College of San Francisco)
Greg Eisworth, 6-0, 195, soph., DB, Grand Prairie, Texas (Mississippi, Trinity Valley CC)
Re-al Mitchell, 6-0, 190, fr., QB, Eastvale, Calif.
Brayden Narveson, 6-1, 190, fr., PK, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Anthony Johnson, 6-0, 170, fr., DB, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tayvonn Kyle, 6-0, 165, fr., WR, Valdosta, Ga.
Isaiah Lee, 6-1, 295, fr., DT, Chicago
Will McDonald, 6-4, 220, fr., DE, Pewaukee, Wis.
Jaeveyon Morton, 5-9, 180, fr., DB, Detroit
Chandler Pulvermacher, 6-2, 210, fr., LB, Harland, Wis.
Brock Purdy, 6-1, 200, fr., QB, Gilbert, Ariz.
Joey Ramos, 6-5, 305, fr., OL, Phoenix, Ariz.
Mike Rose, 6-4, 215, fr., LB, Brecksville, Ohio
Joseph Scates, 6-3, 180, fr., WR, Dayton, Ohio
Carson Schleker, 5-9, 175, fr., WR, Allen, Texas
Sean Shaw Jr., 6-6, 200, fr., WR, Jones, Okla.
Dallas Taylor-Cortez, 6-2, 170, fr., DB, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Gerry Vaughn, 5-11, 205, fr., LB, Atlanta