Zach Twedt was sitting in the car one day when a new message lit up his phone.
He reached over to pick it up, and saw it was an invitation to join the Iowa State football text message group comprised of verbal commitments in the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes.
Twedt, a rising junior at Roland-Story, committed to ISU in January, but is the only player in his class committed to the Cyclones, so he has been adopted by the 2020 class, particularly the linebackers. This past weekend, he had the chance to connect with some of them face to face.
“When I came today, everyone was just so loving like a family,” Twedt, who attended ISU’s camp during the weekend, told the Ames Tribune.
“They were like, ‘Oh hey Zach! Hey Twedt, how you doing?’ It’s just a really neat experience.”
Twedt committed to ISU this winter a year after he received an offer and two years before he would arrive on campus. He jumped at the chance for a scholarship at ISU because of coach Matt Campbell, but also because he saw a fit.
His experience Saturday in Ames validated that.
Cole Pedersen (Central Decatur) and Hunter Zenzen (Barnesville, Minn.), two 2020 linebacker commitments, worked out individually alongside Twedt, who is listed on 247Sports as a 6-foot-3 athlete. The trio worked with ISU linebackers coach Tyson Veidt on stances, ball flow techniques and some of the more physical aspects of the game.
Twedt said the work was invaluable.
“We started to input hitting bags, hitting balls then hitting a dummy that (former ISU linebacker and quarterback) Joel Lanning was there holding,” Twedt told the Tribune. “That was a pleasure getting to work with him. It’s not every day you get to work with a person who played professionally, so it was pretty dang cool.
“I did some of (the same workouts) last year at camp, kind of the whole same rundown and everything. But I definitely got more out of it this year.”
Twedt anticipates he’ll play more linebacker for the Norsemen this season, and could see the bulk of the snaps at running back too. Last year, Twedt rushed 13 times, had 20 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown, and tallied 52 tackles.
Because he’s only 16 years old, and because he still has two years of high school, Twedt said he has inevitably heard from other schools on the recruiting trail, but remains steadfast in his commitment to ISU.
Iowa offered Twedt a scholarship on Tuesday, and Nebraska and Kansas State have also shown interest.
“I’d like to say verbally committed as long as coach Campbell stays here,” Twedt told the Tribune. “He just got the contract extension, but you talk about a great man with a lot of potential.
“That’s great for him and I’m super happy for him, and at the same time, I’d sure like to play under his roof and his coaching ability and everything.”
In between stops at football camps and starting at center field for the Roland-Story baseball team, Twedt said he’s set aside time to work out at Premier Athlete Training in Ames and put in some hours on the family farm. He’s had basketball tournaments recently, too.
Whether he visits other schools is partially up to how it fits in his schedule, but the Norse standout couldn’t be happier with what he’s been shown and experienced in Ames. That deepening relationship with the staff and other recruits is a big part of that.
“I sure enjoy Iowa State quite a bit,” Twedt told the Tribune. “(I’m also) just trying to enjoy high school a little bit.”