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Football

Williams Blog: Three RB’s to ink on Wednesday

By Chris Williams, CF Publisher

Heading into National Signing Day, I have continually been worried about one prospect pulling the carpet out from underneath Iowa State. That has been DeLand, Fla. running back Shontrelle Johnson.

Relax everybody.

According to THIS STORY written by Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel, Johnson is staying firm to his Iowa State commitment and plans on signing with the Cyclones on Wednesday.

“I’m committed to Iowa State,” Johnson told the Sentinel.

That was halfway expected. I mean, he was committed. It wasn’t solid, but it was there. It was some other news came out of left field for Cyclone fans though earlier in the week, when Greg Ohlson of CycloneSportsReport.com reported the commitment of Butler Community College running back, Albert Gary.

According to the Rivals.com database, Gary, a 5-foot-10, 177-pound back out of Citra, Fla. originally committed to Arkansas before heading to Butler.

In addition to Johnson and Gary, Fort Worth, Tex. back Duran Hollis plans to sign with Iowa State as well.

So that makes three running backs in Iowa State’s 2010 class, joining the likes of Alexander Robinson, James White, Beau Blankenship, Bo Williams and Jeff Woody.

Needless to say, depth shouldn’t be much of an issue at running back next season.

One thing comes to my mind when thinking about that fact. That’s the interview that I recently conducted with Iowa State running back’s coach, Kenneth Pope.

“You’d like to have two backs who can give you a different look and also, in my opinion, it makes you a stronger football team because it makes you compete harder every time that you go out there,” Pope said. “You’re constantly thinking that you have to make a play.”

You can read the entire interview with Pope HERE.

My guess is that both Johnson and Gary will see the field next year in some capacity. I write that because you don’t typically recruit JUCO’s to sit (unless they’re a disappointment) and I highly doubt that Shontrelle picked Iowa State over Florida to red-shirt.

Maybe all of these capable bodies can help keep Alexander Robinson healthy during his senior season.

Schedule Change

I was surprised to get a press release from Iowa State this morning announcing a major change in the 2010 football schedule. Basically, the Utah and Kansas State games got switched around. That means that the Cyclones will begin conference play with the Wildcats (in Kansas City) the week after Iowa State’s road trip to Iowa.

I actually like this change. Iowa State will have a legitimate shot to start off the year 3-1, with a conference win, before Texas Tech comes to town. I like the move because Iowa State knows what they’re getting with Kansas State. There shouldn’t be any surprises in that contest. They play each other every year. Utah is another story. The team will have a much better idea of who they are before the Utes roll into town on Oct. 9.

Below is Iowa State’s 2010 schedule and my very early, very quick take on each game.

Sept. 2 – NORTHERN ILLINOIS – Win

Sept. 11 – at Iowa – Loss, unless something crazy happens.

Sept. 18 – Kansas State – Should be very even. K-State probably favored by a point or two.

Sept. 25 – NORTHERN IOWA – Win

Oct. 2 – TEXAS TECH – Tech will be favored, but winnable.

Oct. 9 – UTAH – Tough, but winnable. I like playing the Utes with a few more games under the team’s belt.

Oct. 16 – at Oklahoma – Loss

Oct. 23 – at Texas – Loss

Oct. 30 – KANSAS – Toss up with an Iowa State lean.

Nov. 6 – NEBRASKA – Probably a loss but anything could happen

Nov. 13 – at Colorado – On the road but the Cyclones could be favored. All depends on the Buffs.

Nov. 20 – Missouri – Probably a loss.

So there you go. That’s a very premature look at the upcoming season. Of course, we have months to debate each and every game here at CycloneFanatic.com.

Stay tuned.