Cyclones look for Irving to restore pass rush

By Chris Williams, Publisher

It has been a while since an Iowa State football team possessed a feared pass rusher. I’m talking about a guy who you have to game plan around.

In fact, one could argue that a Cyclone football team hasn’t had a dynamic pass rushing threat since Jason Berryman ran into trouble with the law. Head coach Paul Rhoads and his staff are hoping that David Irving, a 6-foot-7 defensive end out of San Jacinto. Calif. turns into just that.

“He is the gem of the class,” Rhoads said during his National Signing Day press conference. “He is from the desert area outside of Los Angeles. He fell in love with the green grass and the trees of Iowa.”

When Irving visited Ames back in July, he weighed 230-pounds. Since then, the former basketball standout has packed on some muscle and now stands at 250-pounds.

“He is a gifted athlete,” said defensive coordinator Wally Burnham. “We feel like he is going to be able to help us a lot at some point.”

Now don’t be unfair with your expectations for the incoming freshman. Jumping from high school ball to the Big 12 is never easy, but especially at defensive end. But the consensus coming out of National Signing Day was that this prospect is a keeper.

“At that position, you get a high school kid and you have to teach him out to play the run,” Burnham said. “We’ll have to see how that goes but we feel good about it.”

Rhoads went on to call Irving “under recruited.”

“We think that he is going to be a real steal for this class.”

Irving recorded 76 tackles, seven sacks and forced five fumbles during his senior season for San Jacinto. Irving’s athleticism showed him time on both sides of the football. As a tight end, Irving caught 19 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns as well.

Nelson, Kron to provide immediate depth in 2011

Iowa State essentially signed three defensive linemen on Wednesday.

Don’t forget that last year, Rony Nelson and Nick Kron signed with the Cyclones at the position. Nelson, a former JUCO prospect will be an immediate force for the Cyclones during this upcoming season.

“It is like having a new guy out there really,” said Burnham. “He’ll be vying for a starting job or a backup job, whatever it is.”

Kron, a West Des Moines Valley native, used a gray shirt year in 2010. Both men will be eligible to play for Iowa State during the 2011 season.