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  1. #1
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    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Yes, itís June, and yes, I can dream, canít I? Do you have anything better to do? Yes, I admit that perhaps itís a dream that all of the players listed here will qualify, will remain eligible, will be content not to transfer. But thatís what dreams are all about, after all. So, in my dream, here's the shape of thing's to come.

    LT Doug Dedrick 6-3 296 SR/Scott Haughton 6-4 310 FR/Matt Hulbert 6-7 285 SO
    LG Ben Lamaak 6-5 307 SO/Reggie Stephens 6-4 300 JR
    OC Mike Knapp 6-3 270 JR/Alex Alvarez 6-2 291 SO
    RG Keleche Osemele 6-5 320 RFR/Joe Blaes 6-2 284 SR/Hayworth Hicks 6-3 323 SO
    RT Trey Baysinger 6-6 307 RFR/Brandon Johnson 6-4 301 SR

    Yes, the right side is a little green. Hopefully itíll shake out quickly, perhaps even more quickly than it took the line to settle in last season. And the good thing is that there finally begins to be some quality and some reasonable depth. Knapp has the quickness theyíre looking for to pull at center, hopefully heíll put on a few pounds before fall rolls around. Where do you line up Haughton? You remember the old kid's joke, where does a five hundred pound gorilla sit? Wherever he wants to.

    Seriously, Haughtonís natural position might be left guard, but Lamaak seems comfortable there. Right guard and tackle seem settled for the next four years, and will only get better. Which leaves left tackle, and center, where the staff likes Knappís athleticism, but heís undersized. So, can Haughton shotgun snap? Memorize the playbook? If not, slip him into the rotation at left tackle for now, where he might have some advantages over Dedrick and Hulbert.

    WR Wallace Franklin 6-3 171 SR/Sedrick Johnson 6-4 185 FR
    WR R.J. Sumrall 6-1 195 SR/Euseph Messiah 5-10 170 SR
    WR Marquis Hamilton 6-4 215 JR/ Houston Jones 6-0 194 JR/Jason Carlson 6-0 195 SO
    TE Collin Franklin 6-6 250 SO/Catlett
    HB/FB Derrick Catlett 6-4 241 JR/Taylor Mansfield 6-1 252 SO/Brian Ekwelundu 5-11 223 JR/Kurt Hammerschmidt 6-5 240 FR

    Sumrall and Hamilton offer all of the "steady" that any team needs, with help from Messiah and maybe Jones, that department is covered. Itíll be up to Franklin and Sedrick Johnson to offer some spice, Iíd like to see that pair combine for forty catches, if not more. Iíll expect Carlson to break in primarily as a returner, but though excelling at that role would be quite sufficient his first season, I could be completely wrong about that, and not mind whatsoever. Someone has to catch those cannon shots from Arnaud, after all. Franklin and Johnson hardly hold a monopoly on speed.

    At tight and the combined h-back/fullback position, Catlett is certainly steady, and I expect Collin Franklin to add another dimension, stretching the field and making plays. If Mansfield and Ekwelundu can handle occasional blocking duties and the former pair remain healthy, I certainly hope that Hammerschmidt might manage to be redshirted.

    QB Austen Arnaud 6-3 212 SO/Philip Bates 6-1 215 SO

    No, the duel is far from over, and I canít begin to guess whoíll prevail. The only thing that I know is that when heís on, Arnaud looks like an NFL quarterback. That Bates is pushing him says a great deal about how athletic and explosive he is.

    TB Alexander Robinson 5-10 182/J.J. Bass 6-0 200 SR/Jason Scales 5-9 205 SR

    Three entirely different styles of backsÖwhat better vhange of pace can you ask for? If one style isn't working against an opponent, show them another.


    DE Christopher Lyle 6-3 242 JR/Rashawn Parker 6-0 258 JR
    NG Jerrod Black 6-0 280 RFR/Nate Frere 6-1 288 JR/Michael Tate 6-4 285 JR
    DT Bailey Johnson 6-2 285 SO/Aust. Alburtis 6-2 285 SO/Chris Weir 6-1 289 SR
    DE Kurtis Taylor 6-2 255 SR/Nick Frere 6-2 246 SR/Travis Ferguson 6-5 240 SR

    You see, in my dream Chris Lyle provides a consistent rush opposite Taylor while Black offers a push inside as Johnson, Alburtis, Tate, Weir and Kyle Slifka offer at least occasional busts while controlling the line. Plenty of depth, pleanty of rest, plenty of opportunity for pass rushing.

    OLB Josh Raven 5-11 210 JR/Fred Gerrin 6-1 215 JR/A.J. Mathews 6-3 196 RFR
    MLB Jesse Smith 6-0 223 JR/Derec Schmidgall/Curtiz Mathis 6-1 225 RFR
    SLB Michael Bibbs 6-1 223 SR/Cameron Bell 6-2 230 SO

    Continuing in the dream theme, Josh Raven is a terror, a collegian Troy Polomalu revisted. Opposite him, Bibbs is steady and fast, while Bell begins to push for a starting spot and Mathis helps on special teams, setting up his next step. Can we get Mathews, listed as a DB, into this picture, too?

    If I were ask for anything, whether it be from Curtiz Mathis, perhaps Ernest Ferguson or even a recruiting commitment, itís some sign of an athletic middle linebacker on the horizon.

    CB Allen Bell 6-1 190 JR/Kennard Banks 5-10 190 JR/Teríran Benton 6-0 185 FR
    CB Chris Singleton 5-10 182 SR/Devin McDowell 5-9 185 SO
    FS James Smith 5-9 189 SR/Derron Montgomery 6-1 190 JR
    SS Chris Brown 5-10 172 SR/Steve Johnson 6-0 199 SR/Dustin Land 5-11 200 RFR

    Despite four returning starters, donít ask me how depth shakes out, Banks is something of a wild card, perhaps even helping at safety. Benton and Leonard Johnson could start out on special teams, I wouldnít be surprised if Land or Judah Linder, well, surprised.

    P Mike Brandtner
    PK Zach Guyer 6-3 170 FR and/or Grant Mahoney 6-0 170 FR
    PR Jason Carlson 6-0 195 SO
    KR J.J. Bass 6-0 201 SR/Carlson

    Yes, the dream concludes with Guyer and Mahoney plunking kickoffs into the end zone, and hitting forty yard field goals on occasion--perhaps even an occasional bomb from fifty. That allows Brandner to punt only when he needs to, not to a short field. The returners? Darned if I know how that'll shake out. There is more speed on this team than there used to be, after all.

    Oh yeah, the rest of the dream? Well there isn't really anyone unbeatable on our schedule, after all...



  2. #2
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    Re: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    ive mentioned it before but i do have a friend that can kick 50 yarders with his eyes closed and he said whatever school comes after him first is the school thatd he most likely commit to, hes a junior and on a national kicking camp they have him rated as a 4 star...he kicked over 5 field goals of 50 this year...i wish iowa state would jump on him soon



  3. #3
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    Re: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    We sure seem to be a lot deeper than we've been any time that I can remember.



  4. #4
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    Re: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Remember when Colorado had Mason Crosby? As long as Colorado was on the opponent side of the 50, he was an automatic 3 points every time. When the Buffs came to Ames in 2005, I remember one of his PATs went onto the roof of the Jacobsen Building. Now obviously that kind of reliability is rare, but it gives me stomach spasms to think about how many games kicking and special teams have cost over the last 10 years. I hope Guyer and/or Mahoney can help us stabilize that position. It has been poison for us for far too long.



  5. #5
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    Re: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Quote Originally Posted by zdorr40 View Post
    We sure seem to be a lot deeper than we've been any time that I can remember.
    do you remember that 60 some yard field goal he had against us in 2005 in jack trice, that was a freaking sweet game, the tornado, brent curvey's interception for a touchdown and steve paris' fumble recovery for a touchdown, great game, and Mason Crosby is a freaking beast



  6. #6
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    Re: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclonedefender View Post
    do you remember that 60 some yard field goal he had against us in 2005 in jack trice, that was a freaking sweet game, the tornado, brent curvey's interception for a touchdown and steve paris' fumble recovery for a touchdown, great game, and Mason Crosby is a freaking beast
    In 2004, he made field goals against us from 29, 60, 54, and 34 yarsd.

    In 2005, he made field goals against us from 31, 42, and 57 yards.

    In 2006, he made field goals against us from 47, 38, 41, and 42 yards.

    In his last three years, he made 11 field goals against us, three from 50+. Unreal.



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