Two key factors were at work
as Iowa State was assembling its football recruiting class of 2007 on the run
with a new coaching staff: treading familiar territory to save time and
replenishing the talent base along the beleaguered offensive line. James Carpenter of Hephzibah, Georgia, fits that profile on both fronts. He
talked to Cyclone Nation, alongside his high school coach John Bowen, about his
decision to sign with ISU.
Cyclone Nation: Why Iowa
Carpenter: I decided to come to
Iowa State because of Coach Fountain from Georgia Southern. I liked him and
trusted him. Plus Iowa State is in the Big 12, one of the best conferences in
the land. I'm also excited about showing the coaches how good I can
Cyclone Nation: Coach,
what are James' strengths as a prospect?
Bowen: James is big, fast, strong
and quiet. He was the heart of our team. We ran behind him nearly 90% of
the time, if you count the plays on which he pulled. His size, speed and power
are strengths. I would like to see better man-on drive blocking straight ahead
from him, but I do believe he can develop into a starter in two years. The
sky is the limit for him if he listens to the coaches and does the right
Cyclone Nation: Can you
think of one particular moment about his high school career that stands
Bowen: The one thing that stands
out in my mind about James was his performance against Thomson High School,
which is the powerhouse school in our region. He was one of the
first men down on the punt coverage team nearly all night. At that size,
that's pretty impressive.
Carpenter: My proudest moment this
past season was beating our rival Butler in a big game and being named Augusta
Golden Corral Player of the Week.
Cyclone Nation: What are
schools did you consider other than ISU?
Carpenter: I considered Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern and Alabama A&M. My family keeps joking that Iowa
State is too far away but they are proud of me and happy to see me doing
something positive with my life and my career.
Cyclone Nation: What
advice does Coach Bowen have for you?
Carpenter: My coach stressed I'll
be playing against the best of the best, and to prepare for how cold it gets in
Ames. The competition will make me better. I dominated every game this fall. I
averaged seven pancakes per game.
Bowen: That's why my advice to him
has been work hard and do what you are supposed to do and be where you are
supposed to be and everything will fall into place.
So far Carpenter is undecided
on a major, but he's quite decisive in the weight room boasting a 400-pound
Not much was known about this young man until his named popped up on ISU's radar just days before Signing Day. CN is here to do the introductions.
ISU goes south to add some much-needed bulk to its offensive line.