AMES — When Ankeny’s Joel Lanning attended his first Iowa-Iowa State football game, he sat in the black and gold section.
“I actually grew up a Hawkeye fan,” Lanning said late last summer.
His in-state allegiance has changed.
Lanning, a quarterback who committed six months ago to play football for the Cyclones, is expected to make cardinal and gold his official colors Wednesday as the ink dries on National Signing Day.
The two-time 2012 Class 4A state champion (football, baseball) was sold on ISU quickly after meeting coach Paul Rhoads.
“(He’s) a great coach and he gets fired up, as anybody sees,” said Lanning, a three-star Rivals.com recruit who led his team on a game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown drive in November’s state title game. “I don’t even know what to say about him. He’s a great guy and a great coach.”
Lanning and Rhoads both played for legendary coach Jerry Pezzetti, who capped 40-plus seasons as the Hawks’ mentor with his second state title.
Lanning joins offensive linemen Jake Campos (West Des Moines Valley) and Ryan Glenn (Waukee) as Des Moines metro-area standouts expected to sign for their Cyclone scholarships Wednesday.
Campos, a Rivals.com four-star prospect who originally committed to play at Missouri, changed his mind on his fourth visit to Ames, which happened to coincide with the ISU men’s basketball team’s Dec. 1 rout of Brigham Young.
The reasons: ISU’s strong engineering program and Rhoads, who already has four recruits on campus, including touted JUCO players such as Emmanuel Bibbs (TE) and Aaron Wimberly (RB).
“You can tell, just when you talk to anyone who’s a Cyclone fan — everybody’s very excited for what’s happening up there and I am, too,” Campos said that weekend. “It’s going to be something special.”
Rhoads has said repeatedly that recruiting central Iowa is among his top goals and the addition of Campos, Lanning and Glenn — along with early 2014 commit Allen Lazard of Urbandale — shows it’s paying off.“Campos is one of the top, if not the top recruit in the state,” Lazard’s coach, Sam Anderson, said in December.