One of Iowa State’s many junior-college additions to Wally Burnham’s defense for 2014 recently proved an important point that is as underrated as any annually during spring football. Read the following quote from Gabe Luna, a 6-foot-1, 255-pound defensive end (out of Butler C.C.) who was asked about his first five practices of spring drills.
“What I need to work on is mainly the signals,” Luna said. “In junior-college, the middle linebacker would get the signal after looking at the sideline and call it out.”
This kind of stuff, especially with what is nearly an entirely new coaching staff, is exactly what spring drills are for. Learning signals is not something that the veterans need to be consumed with in the middle of August when more important tasks need to be dealt with.
“Here, everybody has to look to the sideline and read the signal call,” Luna said. “I believe once I get that down it will be a lot easier. The game will slow down and I will be able to play it like normal.”
Fellow JUCO’s Devron Moore and Jordan Harris joined Luna on Iowa State’s campus this spring and are currently participating in drills.
Four more JUCO’s, Terry Ayeni (defensive line), Dale Pierson (defensive line), Trent Taylor (defensive line), Wendell Taiese (offensive line) and Qujuan Floyd (defensive back) are scheduled to arrive on campus in the summer.
Will the three that are already on campus automatically start and see more minutes than the others because of it? Not at all. But Luna’s quote is a great example as to why getting to school as soon as possible is so important.