Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Legend
    Points: 180,708, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 13.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialVeteran50000 Experience Points
    Aclone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Des Moines, Ia.
    Posts
    12,956
    Points
    180,708
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 195
    Given: 887

    Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    Yeah, it's the summer, but with summer conditioning wrapping up, the Olympics not far off, immediately followed by two-a-days, I thought I'd offer some of my question marks for this team before we all get swept up in actual information coming from the coaches.

    Since this is pretty long, I'm breaking it down into two installments.

    1. Rush End
    Seriously. Either Rashawn Parker or Chris Lyle (or both) needs to become a major producer, not least because a seasoned secondary needs some pressure taken off them. While Lyle showed flashes (and more than flashes) in the Spring, it remains to be seen whether those flashes will translate to the Fall. Parker is certainly the athlete to be successful rushing the passer, it simply remains to be seen whether the light bulb will come on, and he’ll put it all together. Another question to be answered is whether there is a third rush end materializing anywhere.

    2. Placekicker
    This is absolutely crucial, I’d have to go back an awfully long way to find the last time the Cyclones had a reliable placekicker. Sure, Tony Yelk did a good job on kickoffs, but even that role has been vacant in recent seasons. So it’ll be up to the freshmen, Zach Guyer and Grant Mahoney, in some combination, to resolve what has been a festering problem which contributed significantly to Dan McCarney losing his job. Even if one or the other is a good kickoff man, and the one stabilizes field goal kicking inside, say, the forty-five, that’s a monumental success. Good enough to give them a shot at fifty-yarders? Mike Brandtner will be leading the cheers!

    3. Quarterback
    For those of you wondering why I haven’t ranked this position higher, frankly, I figured that the only real questions are “Which One” and “When”. ISU hasn’t had as much premium depth of talent at quarterback as Austen Arnaud, Phillip Bates and Jerome Tiller in, well, probably ever. If Arnaud gets it together and wins the starting job, with that cannon arm, quick release and smooth delivery he’s a future NFL quarterback. If Bates wins the job, he’s an explosive, exciting leader. The next question will be whether both of these players remain healthy so that Tiller, another exciting athlete, can get in a redshirt to gain a little separation from the two sophomores. Oh yeah, last question? These three are the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster—’Nuff said.

    4. Left Tackle
    Perhaps the most crucial role of the offensive line is protecting the quarterback’s back side. One of the vagaries of the Spring was the battle between senior returning starter Doug Dedrick, now listed at 6-3 296, and the somewhat more imposing soph Matt Hulbert (6-7 283). Dedrick came in and was a stopper in a gaping hole last season, a virtual savior, but he’s hardly the biggest guy in the world. Hulbert, on the other hand, has the frame you want, but whatever you say about his technique, he’s not the quickest guy in the world—which brings back shuddering memories of the guys Dedrick replaced. Given the plentitude of pass rushers on this side in the conference, a strong performance here is a necessity—one without giving away run or pass by the personnel in the game. Newcomers may have an impact on the depth chart here, one way or another.

    5. Defensive Tackle
    Like on offense, the line is where it all starts, and I like the collective ability of Jerrod Black, Bailey Johnson, Austin Alburtis, Kyle Slifka, Nate Frere, Michael Tate and Chris Weir. Yep, those are all tackles. It’s quite a collection of disparate talents, with Black (6-0 275) showing signs of being a quick and powerful penetrator in the Spring game, Alburtis (6-2 275) and walkon Slifka (6-2 263) also flashing quickness, Johnson (6-2 273) and Frere (6-1 288) with plenty of experience, and Tate, the most imposing of the group at a listed 6-4 285, drawing words of praise for his improvement. Let’s not forget Weir, the only senior (apparently) on the interior, who at 6-1 269 is also in the “Let’s Meet at the Quarterback” mold. Beyond controlling the run, much like the Rush End, the pass rush these guys provide will have a great deal of impact on the performance of the secondary.

    6. Safety
    We might be playing Last Man Standing, with only four scholarship returnees, and Chris Brown (5-10 172) coming back from injury. James Smith (5-9 189) has started most of the last two years, and it’s time for him to step it up a notch. And where does depth come from? Aside from soph Derron Montgomery’s (6-1 180) proposed switch, do more corners help out here—like juco Kennard Banks (5-10 190)? Is true frosh Dustin Land (5-11 200) prepared? Frankly, if we didn’t need Jerome Tiller at quarterback, I’d love to see his size (6-3 185) and athleticism at safety. Same goes for Darius Darks (6-0 180) at wideout. Senior Brandon Hunley (5-11 205) and junior Steve Johnson (6-0 199) add plenty of maturity. Both have been playmakers at times in the past, largely in spring ball, so that needs to translate into Fall results. There are seasoned bodies here, and someone really needs to come through.

    7. Center
    The other of the pivotal roles on the offensive line (this one literally), center is the other of the two larger question marks on the front wall. One of the mysteries of the Spring scrimmage was when returning starter Brandon Johnson (6-4 301) spent most of the game at right tackle, while Mike Knapp and Alex Alvarez split time at the position. Knapp, though undersized at 6-3 266, seems to have the quickness the coaching staff craves at the position to pull and get out and block—if he can put on a dozen pounds over the summer, it might make a huge difference. Alvarez is much bigger at a listed 6-2 291 This is also a position the arrival of newcomers might well impact when Fall drills open.

    8. Tight End
    Anyone care to tell me the last time the Cyclones had a real receiving threat at tight end? Mike Banks wasn’t bad, but he was hardly what I’d call a “weapon”. Derrick Catlett (6-4 241) has been solid at tight end and the “fullback” (H-back) position, with good hands, but it’s redshirt soph juco transfer Collin Franklin we’re all counting on the revolutionize the position, and offer the quarterbacks another weapon. In the vicinity of 6-6 250, there’ll be an unusual amount of pressure on a player coming off a redshirt, because Franklin, Catlett and incoming frosh Kurt Hammerschmidt (he of the great name) are the only scholarship tight ends on the team—the slack will be taken up by walkon fullbacks Taylor Mansfield (6-1 252) and Brian Ekwelundu (5-11 223). With “The Hammer” (6-5 236) at least a candidate to redshirt, it would be invaluable for both Franklin and Catlett to remain healthy. Pressure aside, if Collin comes through, he’ll take a great deal of pressure off the quarterbacks and wideouts, and help create space downfield for the speedsters like Wallace, Sedrick and Jason to run—let alone the tailbacks.

    9. The Rest of the Offensive Line
    Yes, I’ve covered key roles, but everything the offense does revolves around the line—Chapter II of What Killed Dan McCarney. After all, so many roles are still up in the air, with Ben Lamaak the only player to solidify a starting spot in the Spring. Even if he wins back the spot, Dedrick would be the only starter returning at the same position. Sure, Lamaak (6-4 305) should be solid at left guard, but he might be challenged, either by a hungry Reggie Stephens (6-4 300) or a newcomer. Indeed, someone else capturing the position might well allow Lamaak to slide to one of the bigger question spots. Of course, the right side has a rather substantial upgrade in talent in redshirt freshmen Keleche Osemele (6-5 320) and Trey Baysinger (6-6 307), but despite their undisputed talent, they’re still freshmen, and still unproven. Given this unit’s shaky performance in the Spring, I’d say it’s still a big question how long it will take them to settle in and gel as a unit. Half the season, as it did last year? That would probably be a bad thing. The newcomers who might well have an impact on the two deep would be freshman Scott Haughton and sophomore Hayworth Hicks, both of whom intrigue me, yet either of whom could also redshirt. Haughton (6-4 307) might well be a candidate anywhere across the front, Hicks (6-3 323) seems at the moment a guard, possibly a center.

    10. Wide Receiver
    Marquis Hamilton and R.J. Sumrall are known quantities, as is senior Euseph Messiah. The questions come beyond them, where speedy Wallace Franklin (6-3 171) and star recruit Sedrick Johnson (6-4 180) must provide a deep threat between the two of them—and the more often and more potent, the better. Houston Jones is a junior who has had flashes in previous Spring Games, and should have mastered the intricacies of wide receiver by now, while Jason Carlson should offer something to the return game—and anything else is just pure gravy. I expect little or nothing from Johnson’s fellow frosh Lonzie Range and Darius Darks but to redshirt, so any contribution this season would be a bonus.



  2. #2
    Legend
    Points: 180,708, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 13.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialVeteran50000 Experience Points
    Aclone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Des Moines, Ia.
    Posts
    12,956
    Points
    180,708
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 195
    Given: 887

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    Wow...I really expected someone to argue with me, perhaps that defensive tackle was a higher priority, or maybe left tackle wasn't really a worry. Or maybe that we can't count on "Arnates" at quarterback for steady leadership. Or, to happily point out any grievous errors or omissions.

    I'm not really that good, am I?



  3. #3
    Starter
    Points: 17,204, Level: 39
    Level completed: 95%, Points required for next Level: 46
    Overall activity: 7.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran10000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    712
    Points
    17,204
    Level
    39
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 23
    Given: 40

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    You might be. Very insightful, thanks.



  4. #4
    Speechless
    Points: 185,180, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 15.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialRecommendation Second ClassVeteran50000 Experience Points
    ajk4st8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ankeny
    Posts
    15,553
    Points
    185,180
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 247
    Given: 613

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    I would agree with one thing.... It is time James Smith stepped up and made something of his career! (I know he has had injuries)



  5. #5
    Speechless
    Points: 466,306, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 13.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialRecommendation Second ClassVeteranCreated Album pictures50000 Experience Points
    Al_4_State's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Driftless Region
    Posts
    19,305
    Points
    466,306
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 533
    Given: 149

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    I think Smith has come along nicely, especially given his injuries, etc. He'll be just fine this year, imo, and I expect some big plays out of him


    In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.

  6. #6
    Hall-Of-Famer
    Points: 96,249, Level: 96
    Level completed: 60%, Points required for next Level: 801
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialVeteran50000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,210
    Points
    96,249
    Level
    96
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 35
    Given: 0

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    We actually have at least four QB's. Lenard Johnson was a top shelf high school quarterback who's capable of D-1 from what I've read about him. But three should do it. And what if Tiller is good enough to beat both of the other 2 out?



  7. #7
    Prospect Achievements:
    Veteran1000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    33
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    One thing that is obvious about those battles is that we at least have some competition at all of the positions. We may not be great at any or many or the positions, but I am excited about the depth that is starting to get built.



  8. #8
    Walk On
    Points: 8,753, Level: 28
    Level completed: 1%, Points required for next Level: 597
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    136
    Points
    8,753
    Level
    28
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 7
    Given: 4

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    I don't understand why some people are down on James Smith. I thought he had a good year last year after he missed most of his redshirt FR season w/ injury. plus i think he brings a positive attitude and leadership to the team. he seems to have charisma and he's one of my favorite players.



  9. #9
    Pro
    Points: 84,017, Level: 90
    Level completed: 15%, Points required for next Level: 1,533
    Overall activity: 11.0%
    Achievements:
    VeteranCreated Album pictures50000 Experience Points
    Ciclone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Clive
    Posts
    3,162
    Points
    84,017
    Level
    90
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 283
    Given: 285

    Re: Twenty Questions, Cyclone Football Style 1-10

    Animal, vegetable or mineral?



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • TV: Mediacom 22
  • HOOPS: Iowa State vs. Drake
  • December 20, 2014
  • 04:00 PM