Notebook: Jottings from Media Day 2012

More news, notes and nuggets from Iowa State’s 2012 football media day that was held on Thursday morning.

HOUSEKEEPING: No news is generally good news in this category. Head coach Paul Rhoads only alerted the media of one injury heading into his program’s first practice of 2012 on Friday. That’s senior defensive tackle Cleyon Laing.

“Cleyon Laing recently had some surgery on his foot to clean up some spurs,” said Rhoads. “He will miss a few practices early as we begin camp. We hope to have him by the end of the first week.”

No biggie.

Some more good news came in the form of junior wide receiver Albert Gary and his legal status. From the sound of things, he’ll be good to go in 2012.

“There are issues that have to be worked out traveling but that is already in process,” said Rhoads. “He has served full team punishment and athletic department discipline. He will be practicing with us tomorrow and ready to suit up on Sept. 1 against Tulsa.”

And for more good news, Rhoads had this to say regarding academics and the upperclassmen on his squad.

“We will enter the 2012 season with every veteran football player eligible academically on our football team.”

*** FEATURE — Wally Burnham on exactly why A.J. Klein and Jake Knot are so good. *** 

MESSINGHAM: Courtney Messingham will enter 2012 as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator for the first time. But will he be in the press box or on the field during games? According to Rhoads, he’ll start on the field.“We’re going to go through training camp with him in that position,” said Rhoads. “Todd Sturdy, our new wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator who has also been a coordinator at this level will be in the press box and we’re going to go through our preseason scrimmages with Todd in the box and Courtney on the sideline and make sure that all of the information is getting exchanged to allow Courtney to stay down there and call the game.”

ROOKIE KICKER: I was surprised when freshman kicker Cole Netten told me that he wasn’t allowed to speak to the media on Thursday. Rhoads obviously wants Netten’s mind on football and only football. The success that punter Kirby Van Der Kamp had two years ago as a rookie makes Rhoads confident in Netten in year No. 1.

“If Cole Netten is our best guy at kicker, I’ll have no problem putting him out there,” said Rhoads. “Edwin Arceo is battling out there for that position and it will be a position that goes through camp and is a pretty critical battle as we look at it heading towards Sept. 1.”

NEW RULES: Speaking of kickers, there are a few new rules that will affect the kicking game in 2012. Rhoads commented on this…

“The kickoff rule changes in 2012. We’re going to kick off from the 35-yardline. Touchbacks will come out to the 25. That’s not a bad place to start with the football. We’re going to have to see how many people are going to try to hang it inside of the five short of the goal-line or how many people are going to say ‘you know what,’ we’ll kick it deep and play defense from the 25.”

Stay tuned.

RUN FIRST: What’s the best way to make a shaky quarterback situation a heck of a lot better? Be the best running football team you can be. That’s Iowa State’s plan in 2012.

“We’re going to run the football,” said Rhoads. “We need to be a run-first football team and set the pass up with the run game. We have quality running backs. We know that we have more depth than we’ve ever had in our offensive line. Quarterback has to be a very big part of that running game.”

KNOTT a SS: In case you didn’t know, freshman Luke Knott is starting his Iowa State career at the strong safety position. Big brother is already impressed.

“He walked in the first day and knew more than I knew the sixth game of the year,” said Jake. “Everything clicks for him mentally. He’s never played defense before so I’ve never seen the defensive player he can be.”

DAVID IRVING: Rhoads on the development of sophomore defensive lineman David Irving

“Not as fast as I probably would like. Why that is is because he’s a great talent. You don’t get many people to come through your program with that kind of height and width and ability to run and the length of that wingspan that bats down passes and reaches out at a running back after taking care of a quarterback who didn’t keep the football, etc. David has an opportunity to be a very good football player for us and we’d like for him to arrive sooner rather than later.”

RIVALS: Okay coach. What’s the deal with this West Viginia – Iowa State rivalry talk? The whole last game of the season and being “close” in proximity has something to it, but…

“Any rivalries that are going to come out of these new members will take a few years and will occur because of things that happen on the field and I want to add to that, off the field because you never know what a player is going to say or what a coach is going to say or what is going to happen in a stadium or a parking lot.”