The first factors a top in-state recruit usually weighs when evaluating a school are relationships with coaches, athletic facilities, and the potential of the program to mold him into a top-level player.
But in the case of 247Sports 3-star OT Trevor Downing, the No. 4-ranked recruit in Iowa, the decision reportedly came down to his potential in the classroom — or on the farm. According to The Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson, Downing passed on Iowa and committed to Iowa State in coach Matt Campbell’s office Thursday in part because ISU thrives in agriculture.
I'm am so happy and humbled to announce my commitment to Iowa State University! pic.twitter.com/HtGyqx1IeR
— Trevor Downing (@TrevorDowning74) May 18, 2017
“The relationship I’ve had with the coaches has been going since my sophomore year. It’s been awesome,” Downing told Peterson. “They’re great people, and academically, they’ve got everything that I want. I want to study ag business.”
Indeed, U.S. News & World Report ranks Iowa State as one of the world’s top 30 universities for agriculture; the closest thing Iowa could offer Downing was in business entrepreneurial studies, according to Peterson. During Downing’s visit to Ames, he and his family walked through ISU’s AgEdS450 Farm, the only completely student-run farm at a land grant university in the nation, according to the school. For a young man looking to pursue his passion outside of the gridiron, Iowa State was the best fit.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound tackle is the seventh Iowa State commit for 2018 and is the only in-state recruit to pledge to the Cyclones.