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Thoughts on Signing Day

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I found a bit of time just now, so I figured that I'd chime in with my thoughts on National Signing Day. For the first time in what seems like weeks, yesterday was not a disappointing day. The Cyclones signed everyone that they were expected to, a couple of question marks, a couple of complete unknowns, as well as what was remarked on Rivals.com as the #2 recruiting surprise nationally.

By far, the two biggest surprises on Wednesday were a couple of guys named Johnson. Leonard Johnson, a QB out of Clearwater, Florida who will play DB at the collegiate level, spurned suitors such as West Virginia and South Florida in order to honor his commitment with Iowa State. The 3-star athlete was one of the highest ranked signees in the class.

After noon, however, was the shocker, as Texas A&M commit and 4-star WR Sedrick Johnson became the 23rd signee. It was expected that Sedrick would sign with the Aggies yesterday, but due in large part to fellow recruits, he decided that he would be able to make an impact at Iowa State.

The Clones even picked up a commitment today from OL Brayden Burris, a former KState target.

So, this year's class appears to be finished at 25, if you include RB Bo Williams. The class appears to be heavy at skill positions such as WR and CB, two positions that are heavily relied on in McFarland and Bolt's schemes.

A few members of the group should have an instant impact. Kickers Zach Guyer and Grant Mahoney will immediately begin competing for kicking duties, and it is expected that one, or both of these guys will handle our kickoff and placekicking duties. WR Jason Carlson, the lone JUCO, will immediately come into the WR corps, and will fight with Wallace Franklin, Euseph Messiah and Houston Jones for time behind RJ Sumrall, Marquis Hamilton and possibly Phil Bates. Sedrick Johnson's prospects of seeing playing time as a true freshman don't look overly awesome, but who knows.

The defensive side of the ball presents an opportunity for all of the new defensive backs to get early playing time. Finishing the year with only 3 scholarship cornerbacks gives a great opportunity for Leonard Johnson, Ter'ran Benton and Judah Linder to possibly get some reps in at CB, while Dustin Land has a chance to see some time at safety.

Of course, one of the biggest names of the group, Bo Williams, will have to sit out a redshirt year after transferring. Check out the future at RB:

2008
Robinson (So.)
Bass (Sr.)
Scales (Sr.)
Harris (Sr.)

2009
Robinson (Jr.)
Williams (So.)
Schwartz (RFr.)

I would guess that we'll focus a little more on runningbacks next year, but there's a youth movement afoot at runningback, and, at the very least, it looks like we've got some serious talent at that position.

All-in-all, for what is, on paper, kind of a low ranked class, I'm pretty optimistic. I think we pulled in a stud at quarterback in Jerome Tiller. Schwartz looks to be a bruiser at runningback, and we've pulled in all sorts of talent at WR. After addressing the line heavily last year, we were able to pick up a few select guys. We also drastically addressed the cornerback issue, and maybe even most importantly, the kicking issue. It'll be years before we know how we fared yesterday, and maybe I'm just drinking the kool-aid, but it seems like we pulled in a great group of guys that will fit into the system, and the university, quite nicely.