By Ben Lamaak, former Iowa State lineman and CycloneFanatic.com Contributor
Cincinnati – Hello again Cyclone fans! I’m in the middle of my fourth week in Cincinnati preparing for the 2011 NFL Draft. There has been a lot going on in the sports world so I hope everyone can find some time to read this. It looks like Iowa State has wrapped up its recruiting class and I’m anxious to see how those guys pan out. It is always an adventure to see who lives up to their potential and to see the guys that exceed expectations. I’ve had a blast in Cincinnati since my last blog. It started last Thursday when we went to a place downtown on the river called Newport on the Levee. The Levee was an awesome experience with great views and it was a fun place to escape to. We ate at a place called Mitchell’s Fish Market. It was by far the best seafood I have ever had. I ordered a trio of fish which included salmon, scallops and grouper. It was amazing. After dinner, we went to the AMC theaters which was right around the corner and went to the movie True Grit. True Grit is a country western movie and it was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. It was funny to see the other athletes also enjoy the movie.After all of the fun we had on Thursday evening, we were back in the gym Friday morning where we worked on the pro agility drill for two hours. Our coaches preach repetition and its really starting to pay off. We hit a lower body lift that afternoon and had some fun experiences in the cold tub. I haven’t laughed so hard since I’ve been here then watching when some of the guys got into the cold tub. A cornerback from Arkansas lasted maybe 10 seconds before he threw in the towel. That night, we ventured to a casino in Indiana where we all spent some fun time together. We played craps for about two hours and ended the night on the blackjack tables.This past weekend was pretty relaxing. We woke up Saturday morning and went to Lifetime Fitness, where we worked and video taped our 40 starts and also the L-cone drill. I finished the morning at Lifetime with some laps in the swimming pool for some extra work. I am really taking a liking to the swimming here because it takes the high impact pounding out of the equation. Saturday afternoon, Byron Bell, an offensive tackle from New Mexico, Armond Smith, a running back from a school in Kentucky and I went to our agent’s house in Cincinnati for dinner and to watch the Senior Bowl. I’ve grown really close to those guys over the last four weeks and it helps to have people to hang out with and to talk to. On Sunday, we just lounged around the hotel, did laundry and watched TV.I’ve improved tremendously over the past four weeks and I’ve lost 12 pounds. From experience, it is a lot easier to put on then to take off! Haha. I am heading back to Cedar Rapids this Sunday morning and will begin working out with Mike O’Connell and Austen Arnaud on Tuesday. It will be nice to be back in Ames and working with our strength staff. I think that they are the best in the country and I cannot wait to keep improving. That pretty much sums up a few days from last week. Now I am going to answer some questions from Twitter.
Via cybooty- Why did I get hosed on an invitation to the combine? The combine and its selection process is still something I don’t totally get. It is a weird process and I am not sure why I didn’t get invited. It really doesn’t affect me very much knowing that Reggie Stephens didn’t get an invitation last year anyway. There is only one guy that I am training with up here that got an invitation. I am just going to keep controlling what I can and keep trying to improve everyday.Via Zacklopedia- What’s the thing you miss most about Iowa State besides your friends?This is a tough question coming from a fellow teammate, a best friend and “little brother.” Of course I miss my family and all of my friends. The thing I miss most would probably be the team camaraderie and the chance to wear the I-State logo. Throughout this process, I have realized how close we were at Iowa State and its something I dearly miss. I also miss being able to wear the Iowa State colors and to represent the entire Cyclone Nation. I’ve always played this game for the little kids that were told they weren’t good enough and that they would never make, maybe because that is what people told me along the way. It was an awesome feeling to take the field at Jack Trice and be a role model for all of those young kids. I would have never been able to make this journey without the support of my family. I just want to say thanks to my mom and dad, JoAnn and Charles, for sacrifycing so much for me to get here. I would also like to thank my older brother Aaron, who was my role model growing up and the one who always pushed me to get better and to grow a competitive spirit. Lastly, I want to thank my younger brother, Kyle for always being there for me and never letting me forget where I came from. To have a younger brother instilled a mentality in my head to strive for my best and to always show Kyle the right way to do things, partly due to thats how my dad and Aaron showed me. I love all of you guys thanks again!Via grantmahoney21- Which was sweeter..Winning the Insight Bowl or winning the A league championship in intramural basketball? I could always trust in Grant to ask me a question like this. Actually, they both were sweet to win. The Insight Bowl victory in one of the highlights from my college career. It was the only bowl game that I went to and being able to win that game was priceless. That entire week leading up to the game is something I will never forget. On the other hand, winning the A league championship was always a highlight of my college days. I grew up playing basketball and be able to play with you and all the other football guys was great. We didn’t start off the season the best, but we took home the hardware. If former Cyclones Brian Pederson and Ben Barkema are reading this, I’m sorry we have to take the title from you guys, haha.Via cyfanatic- What are the scouts more interested in, your game tape last year or your pro day workout? To be honest, I would say a little bit of both. I would like to think that my game tape would help knowing that we played the toughest schedule in America and played in one of the best conferences in the country. I also think that having a good workout at Pro Day would also help. Being able to show scouts and coaches first hand that I can play at that level and perform well on the drills will also help. That sums up some of the questions I received on Twitter. I can’t wait to be back Ames next week and to continue this process. I hope I can catch a few basketball games along the way. Thanks for reading and GO CYCLONES!