Williams’ Monday Musings: 4-18

By Chris Williams, Publisher
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

What a weekend!

VEISHEA, the spring game and Cy’s House of Trivia all combined to make me one exhausted dude on this beautiful Iowa Monday. Here are my musings for Monday, April 18.

Cy’s House of Trivia

I have no idea who at Iowa State came up with the idea for Cy’s House of Trivia but whoever that person is should get a raise.

Hands down, this is one of my favorite events of the year.

CLICK HERE to view a photo gallery from the event on our Cyclone Fanatic Facebook page.

On Saturday night, team Toyota had a semi-strong showing, as we placed 86th out of 88 teams. However, we were by far the grittiest group in the building. I believe that we outscored every team inside of Hilton during the last two rounds. We never quit. No doubt about it. Get it? Moving on…

Below (Left to right): Me, Billy Fennelly & Tron Smith at the event. Good times.

Me Billy and Tron 466x350

Spring game thoughts

–       I don’t think it is fair to completely judge a quarterback by his performance in a spring game. You can get a grasp of if a guy has improved of where he is at on a surface level, but not much more than that. As Austen Arnaud explained to Tron Smith and I during our Wilson Toyota preview show, the defense knows what is coming and has a sizable advantage.

–       We knew going into the scrimmage that Paul Rhoads didn’t have a number one guy. I think that we saw why during the “game.” Nobody really stood out over anybody. Jerome Tiller looked more confident than I’ve ever seen before. Steele Jantz struggled at times but looked brilliant at others. Jared Barnett showed flashes of elusiveness with his legs and James Capello was exactly what I’ve heard he is, solid.

–       I interviewed Tiller after the game and was impressed by his demeanor. As I wrote up above, he appeared to have more confidence on the field and that carried over to his media session as well. Tiller just seems more comfortable to me this year. For the first time in his career, he knows that this is his team to lead and he’s trying to defend that responsibility. I’m not saying that alone will carry over to him starting on Sept. 3, but it can’t hurt.

–       I’m sick of the Jerome Tiller hate on our message board and others. Okay, hate is probably too strong of a word. I’m sick of people completely writing this guy off. I think that the Des Moines Register’s Bryce Miller put it perfectly last week on 1460 KXNO when he described Steele Jantz as a “shiny new sports car” that everybody wants to check out. Jantz could very well end up being the man next fall, but by no means should anybody be writing Tiller off in mid-April.

–       I wouldn’t be writing Jared Barnett or James Capello off at this point either. Both appear to very much be in the conversation.

–       The best thing that I saw on Saturday was individual effort from wide receivers Darius Reynolds (below) and Aaron Horne. Both players showed the ability to make a big play, which is what this offense desperately needs next season. Reynolds’ performance was especially refreshing when you consider what he has done to this point during his career as a Cyclone (38 receptions for 355 yards and two touchdowns). At the beginning of spring drills, Paul Rhoads said that he thought Reynolds would have a big season. He’s been recovering from a recent injury and still might have had the best spring game out of anyone. In his defense, Reynold will hopefully be 100 percent healthy for the first time come September. Let’s see what "Money" has got. Heading into Saturday, I was much more skeptical of his future than I am after watching Reynolds’ five catch, 126-yards and two touchdown performance.

Darius Reynolds Spring 20111 524x350

–       My hype-guy this spring, redshirt freshman wide receiver Jarvis West did next to nothing on Saturday totaling one catch for five yards. Sources are telling me to shrug that stat line off. West will still be a major factor this fall.

–       Best talkers on the team? It is tough to beat Iowa State’s top two running backs, Shontrelle Johnson and Jeff Woody. I absolutely love interviewing both of these young men. No clichés. They tell it like it is.

–       A big thanks goes out to Jake Knott’s mom for bringing cookies and Chex Mix to the Toyota pregame show on Saturday. The cookies were amazing Mrs. Knott! Thanks!

Below: That’s a snapshot of Mrs. Knott and I during the pregame show.

Mrs Knott and I 466x350

CF on 1460 KXNO

Ken Miller gets back to Iowa on Thursday. Until then, I’ll be filling him for him two more times this week from 4-7 on 1460 KXNO. Tonight, I’ll be on with Mark Hanrahan and ABC5’s Joey Donia. On Wednesday, it will be ABC 5’s Dave Zawilinksi and me.

We’ll talk a lot about Saturday’s spring game tonight so feel free to tune in if you’d like.

Remember this name?

Former Cyclone hoopster Chris Colvin is heading to the Pac 12 and will play for Arizona State next season.