High praise for Osemele, Phil Steele on the Cyclones

Release Courtesy of Iowa State Athletic Communications

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele has been named a pre-season first-team All-American by Phil Steele’s 2011 College Football Preview. Osemele is slated by NFL Draft prognosticators to be a first-round pick in 2012.  Osemele has started 30 straight games and played in 36 contests for Iowa State. The 6-6, 354-pound lineman was also recognized as a first-team All-Big 12 honoree by the publication.

Cyclone linebacker Jake Knott is tabbed as a second-team All-Big 12 honoree at linebacker after earning the same distinction from the league’s coaches last season.  Knott had one of the best sophomore seasons in Iowa State history in 2010, averaging 10.8 tackles per game. He ranked second in the Big 12 in that category last season. The Waukee native earned honorable mention honors from the Big 12 coaches as defensive player of the year after making 130 tackles, grabbing four interceptions and breaking up five passes, while forcing four fumbles.

Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson also earned second-team preseason All-Big 12 honors. Johnson earned second-team all-conference honors from the league’s coaches last season. One of the best cover corners in Cyclone history, Johnson has accrued 175 career tackles with five interceptions while breaking up 18 passes.

Cyclone linebacker A.J. Klein made the third-team Big 12 unit. The junior averaged 9.25 tackles per game in 2011, ranking fifth in the Big 12 in that category. West Des Moines native Kirby Van Der Kamp made the Phil Steele third team heading into his sophomore season as a punter for Iowa State. Van Der Kamp was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press last season after averaging 45.2 yards per punt. The Freshman All-American’s average ranks second on the single-season school record chart.  Dubuque native Josh Lenz also earned third-team all-Big 12 honors as a punt returner.  He averaged 10.4 yards per punt return last season, with a 62-yard runback for a touchdown against Kansas.

Iowa State tailback Shontrelle Johnson was named to the fourth-team as a kick returner after averaging 23.4 yards on 25 kickoff returns last season.  Defensive lineman Stephen Ruempolhamer made the fourth team after making  33 tackles and six sacks in 2010.


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