One of the most interesting battleground states the past few years in the Midlands Region has been the state of Iowa. One year the Iowa Hawkeyes dominate the state, the next year it's the Cyclones turn. With a smaller group of talented prospects to pick from in 2006, it definitely has made this year's Rivals.com preseason Iowa top 10 interesting to dissect.
On the outside looking in, with four of the top five players already committed to Iowa State it looks like the Cyclones definitely have a leg up on the Hawkeyes this season in-state. But that's partially true, though.
Iowa State definitely has done a great job and the commitments they've reeled in are definitely noteworthy, but it also should be pointed out with Iowa's success in other parts of the country missing out on some of the top players in their own backyard might not sting as much as with other schools.
But when you examine the top 10 it sure looks like the Cyclones are spinning up a great start to its 2006 class.
ISU has landed commitments from three of the top four players in state, including the top overall player, quarterback Austen Arnaud. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Ames, picked the Cyclones over offers from Houston and Iowa.
Right behind him on the list is another ISU commitment Matt Hulbert of Ankeny, Iowa. The 6-foot-7, 274-pound Hulbert camped in Ames and came away impressed enough to become the first commitment for the 2006 Iowa State class.
West Des Moines Valley running back Zac Sandvig is ranked as the No. 3 player in Iowa. The 5-foot-10, 171-pounder picked up an offer from Iowa State at its summer camp, and he turned heads earlier this spring at the Manhattan NIKE Training Camp when he clocked a 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash.
Sandvig's teammate Patrick Neal, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound defensive end, is ranked as the No. 5 player in the state. He, too, is committed to Iowa State, picking the Cyclones on Tuesday.
Muscatine defensive back Nate Frere, another Iowa State pledge, is ranked as the No. 4 player in the state. Frere is 6-3 and 270 pounds and earned first-team all-state honors as a junior.