Iowa State pulled off one of its most impressive recruiting coups in recent years Monday morning when it secured a verbal commitment from a Kansas City area linebacker recruit that also held offers from big three area programs Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas.
Olathe North's Marcel Spears announced the news to I-State coaches after visiting campus on two separate occasions recently. In addition to the big three major conference programs in the Kansas City area, Spears also had offers from FBS schools Colorado State, Idaho and Wyoming.
"I talked to Coach (Paul) Rhoads and Coach (Pete) Brown, my recruiting coach, and shared the news with them," said Spears. "I talked it over with my family and felt like it was a good fit for me. That's how we came upon the verbal commitment to Iowa State. They made it feel like a family. With what they have to offer, it felt like a great fit for me. My family felt like it was a good fit for me, too."
Spears, who will be groomed to play the hybrid linebacker role with the Cyclones, said he was also impressed with a number of academic aspects.
"Iowa State is a really outstanding school and they've got a great education program," he said. "I also really liked the coaching staff. Every time I got to talk to them, they always impressed me. Coach Rhoads was excited about it when I talked to him and couldn't wait to have me join the team."
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker said he looks forward to shutting down the recruiting process and concentrating on his final prep season.
"Now I get to focus on my season and schoolwork, which all begins in a couple weeks," Spears said. "It's a big relief off of my shoulders."
The hybrid linebacker said he is unsure of when he'll take his official visit to Ames.
Spears is the ninth known commitment in ISU's 2015 class and became the third target in the past week to commit to the Cyclones, joining Sachse (Tex.) running back Devine Ozigbo and Cedar Rapids (Iowa) offensive tackle Julian Good-Jones.