Prep Football

Whirlwind of excitement: Quincy's Brock commits to Iowa State

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 8:35 pm Updated: Jul. 7, 2018 1:50 pm

QUINCY -- A little more than a week ago, Jirehl Brock called Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell and running backs coach Nate Scheelhaase to inform them he had made his college choice.

Everyone else had to wait nine days to hear the news.

In front of a larger-than-expected crowd gathered in the Quincy High School gym Friday afternoon, the QHS senior running back read through a list of thank yous and then reached under the table where he and his parents were seated. He pulled out an Iowa State cap and made his verbal commitment to the Cyclones official.

"When I went on my visit there, I just felt like it was the place for me," the 6-foot, 200-pound Brock said. "Coach Campbell and Coach Scheelhaase are two really good coaches, and I feel they will put me in position to make it to the next level."

Brock is the most coveted QHS football player since quarterback Eric Bush signed with Michigan in 1987 and is just the seventh player since 1943 to earn a scholarship from a school in a Power 5 conference.

He received scholarship offers from 13 schools from the Big 10, Big 12, SEC, American Athletic and Mid-American Conferences.

Notre Dame made a late offer after Brock narrowed his list to the final five. He took official visits to Iowa State, Minnesota and Northwestern before committing.

Iowa State was his final visit, and he committed four days later.

"They kept it real," Brock said. "A lot of places will try to get you with the flashy stuff and try to make you forget about what's not so good about the school. Iowa State didn't do that. They gave me the good and the bad and let you choose if the good was good enough for you."

Brock appears to be the centerpiece of the Cyclones' recruiting class.

He is ranked as one of the top 12 running backs nationally in the senior class according to recruiting experts -- No. 10 by Rivals.com, No. 11 by 247Sports.com and in USA Today's top 12 -- and is the highest ranked player among ISU's 17 known commitments.

He is the third running back to commit to Iowa State, joining Breece Hall of Wichita, Kan., and Leonard Glass of Hanford, Calif. They will be the ones asked to fill the void when David Montgomery eventually leaves the ISU program.

Montgomery, a 5-foot-11, 219-pound running back, rushed for 1,146 yards last fall in leading the Cyclones to an 8-5 record and the first bowl berth in nine seasons. A first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection, Montgomery could be an early entry into the NFL draft after his junior season.

"They didn't put any high expectations on me. I put them on myself," Brock said. "(Montgomery) is likely to move on after this year, so it will be up to me and Breece Hall to fill his spot. I feel that's what it's going to be for me, coming in and filling that void he leaves."

His high school performance certainly shows he's capable of doing that.

In two varsity seasons, Brock has rushed for 2,977 yards and a school-record 45 touchdowns. Add in receiving, defensive and return superlatives, he has a school-record 52 touchdowns, and he's about 500 yards from breaking the career rushing record. And he hasn't reached his full potential yet.

"What I'm really excited about, and I've told coaches this too, is that next level he can reach as a player," QHS coach Rick Little said. "There's a whole another level he can get to and he will get to. That's really the exciting thing for me when I watch him. He's going to get to that next level as a player, and it will be really fun to watch that."