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Oklahoma St Iowa St Football

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell, center, watches from the sideline during a game against Oklahoma State, Saturday, Nov. 11.

AMES | The next wave of Iowa State football players signed their letter of intents on Wednesday.

The Cyclones used the first-ever early-signing period to ink 18 players.

“This is a unique class for us. We know what we have now and we know the needs we needed to meet, and we did a great job of doing that with this class,” coach Matt Campbell said in a release from the athletic department. “We built this program on great character kids, players that come from winning programs and players that know what it takes to be successful and to fit into this culture. I’m excited about this class continuing that trend.”

The 2018 class is highlighted by nationally-ranked offensive players like receiver Sean Shaw from Jones, Oklahoma, lineman Joey Ramos from Glendale, Arizona, and quarterback Re-al Mitchell from Eastvale, California.

Shaw is the 10th best player out of the state of Oklahoma in the 2018 class according to 247Sports. He had 207 receptions, 3,320 receiving yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 100-yard receiving games in his career.

Ramos was a late addition to the 2018 class, committing Tuesday night before signing on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Ramos is the 46th-rated lineman in the 2018 class according to 247Sports.

Mitchell is rated as the No. 26 quarterback in the 2018 class. He was invited to the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp last summer. Mitchell dealt with an undisclosed injury in 2017, but in 2016, he passed for 2,932 yards and rushed for another 1,058.

Highly-ranked defensive end Will McDonald highlights the defensive side of the ball in the 2018 class. He’s the No. 46 rated defensive end and No. 3 in the state of Wisconsin according to 247Sports. McDonald tallied 61 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2017.

Cornerback Jaeveyon Morton is another highly-rated recruit for the future of Iowa State’s defense. He’s the No. 77 rated recruit at his position and No. 24 in the state of Michigan.

The Cyclones signed three players from Iowa. Offensive lineman Trever Downing from Creston, offensive lineman Zach Ross from West Des Moines, and defensive end Zach Peterson from Eldridge.

Downing is the top-ranked lineman in the state of Iowa and No. 31 overall according to 247Sports.

Campbell also announced that Mitchell, Downing, kicker Brayden Narveson, punter Corey Dunn and junior college safetly Greg Eisworth will begin school in January and will be eligible to compete in spring practice.

Narveson and Dunn signing early is important for Iowa State because they’ll both be thurst into the starting spot immediately.

Eisworth will also have a chance to earn a starting spot as both of Iowa State’s current safeties are graduating.

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