AMES — Be patient Cyclone Nation.
Iowa State’s starting quarterback for the season-opener vs. Tulsa is still an unknown. That’s according to head coach Paul Rhoads after Saturday’s third and final scrimmage that wrapped up fall camp 2012 for the Cyclones.
Rhoads reiterated what he said regarding the quarterback decision on Wednesday this Saturday afternoon at Jacobson Building in Ames.
“We’ll get the film thoroughly graded. The coaches are going to start this afternoon and finish up tomorrow,” said Rhoads. “We’ll sit down and look at the entire camp and probably by Tuesday’s practice we’ll be able to name somebody in that spot, I would guess unless the film shows us something else that we would want to go into the week with.”
Chances are that man will be senior Steele Jantz or sophomore Jared Barnett, however nobody on Iowa State’s coaching staff has ruled redshirt freshman Sam Richardson to be out of the equation yet.
Offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham said that the coaching staff has quite the chore ahead of it over the next few days.
“The main thing that we’re going to have to do is sit down with an offensive staff and Coach Rhoads and look at the entire spring and fall camp and make the best choice for our team,” said Messingham.
“That’s a lot of tape,” said one member of the media conducting the interview.
“It really is,” replied the first year offensive coordinator. “But it’s also a gut feeling. Who’s the guy you feel most comfortable with? The hard part about that gut feeling is that all of the guys do something to make you think that he can get it done for us. That’s the exciting part because they have all shown that they can get it done.”
Rhoads and Messingham agreed that as a whole, Iowa State’s group of quarterbacks have completed over 60 percent of its passes during fall camp. Messingham tabbed that number to be in the “mid-60’s.”
“Anything above that 63-64 range is really playing well,” said Messingham.
As for progress as a whole from Barnett and Jantz from last year up until now, Rhoads has picked up on a few things that the duo is doing better.
“I think their decision making shows that they are a year more intelligent,” said Rhoads. “Right now as you’re throwing the whole playbook at them, I don’t know if you get a complete appreciation for their complete awareness of what’s going on. When you get into Tulsa preparation and start to really game plan, I think you’ll see that out of them as well.”
Rhoads also said that both quarterbacks will be more effective runners in 2012.
“Steele is more speed when he was make you miss a year ago. Now I think he’s doing both,” said Rhoads. “That come with strength, development and an appreciation for what Courtney is doing teaching them. Courtney is doing more run work individually as well as pass game stuff where in the past I think we relied on instincts and making things happen.”
Quarterbacks have been the hot topic of conversation ever since the end of the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl. This chatter has no choice but to intensify and continue on for a few more days.