Notebook: Gannon is hopeful; Knott will likely miss spring

AMES — For once, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads had some good injury news to deliver to the media during his weekly Monday press conference.

According to Rhoads, junior offensive tackle Jacob Gannon is hopeful for Saturday’s 11:00 a.m. kick vs. TCU after suffering an MCL sprain vs. Texas Tech on Oct. 12.

“I think he surprised the medical staff last week with what he did when they started doing some individual work with him and they are going to put him in practice tomorrow,” Rhoads said. “If he holds up they will let him go the whole practice. I am very anxious to see if that takes place.”

This is a big plus for Iowa State’s offensive line that has been plagued by injuries all season long. Rhoads noted that senior Kyle Lichtenberg will once again be out this Saturday. With Daniel Burton being questionable because of an ankle injury, redshirt freshman Jacob Dunning is next in line to start at tackle for Iowa State if Gannon isn’t able to go. 

“I would argue that he was playing as good on the O-Line as anybody at the time when we lost him and with the other injuries at that particular position group, we couldn’t afford for him to go down,” Rhoads said. “It will be a great shot in the arm if he is able to play.”

Regarding Burton, the redshirt freshman is still experiencing swelling after hurting his ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s 41-7 loss to Kansas State. Rhoads seemed fairly optimistic that Burton would be able to give it a try though. 

“Daniel will be day-to-day,” Rhoads said. “He is a pretty tough guy. If he can push through it, he will push through it. He is going to have pain and issues still on Saturday with his ankle. It is a matter if he can push through it.”

If Burton and Gannon both plan on Saturday expect Burton to go back to his natural position, guard. He has been filling in at tackle the last two weeks.

In an additional injury note, Rhoads said that tight end Ben Boesen is also hopeful for Saturday.

Knott to likely miss spring

After Saturday’s loss, Rhoads declared that redshirt freshman linebacker Luke Knott will miss the rest of the season with a hip/groin injury. Before missing the Oklahoma State game, Knott had started every contest this season for the Cyclones other than the season opener vs. UNI. 

“Luke is seeing a doctor on Thursday and a decision will be made going forward after that appointment time,” Rhoads said.

Unfortunately, Knott’s recovery time is expected to take longer than anybody had hoped for.

“With the forecast on his surgery, it is highly unlikely that he will be available for spring ball as well,” Rhoads said.

Knott ended his freshman season with 45 tackles, where he still ranks fourth on the team even after missing two games.

On a positive note, Rhoads acknowledged that Knott’s backup, junior Jevohn Miller, played the best game of his career on Saturday.

“He was a lot more accountable with his responsibilities,” Rhoads said. “Early in the year he wasn’t and quite honestly, that’s why we made the move of pushing Luke in front of him. Being a third year player, he has got more physical advancement because of what ahs taken place in the weight room and so forth and he is capable of playing faster than Luke right now because one, if you just lined them up to race, Jevohn is going to win. But he has that additional training and he is starting to play at that speed because of it. It was fun to see him fitting things correctly on a consistent basis and be involved in plays because of it.” 

Daley over Ecby

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Dondre Daley got the start over sophomore Tad Ecby on Saturday and it appears that he will earn another this weekend vs. TCU. That’s what Iowa State’s latest depth chart shows anyways. 

“A young man growing up,” Rhoads said of Daley. “With growing up and gaining more confidence and gaining more knowledge, there is always one thing associated with it and that is speed. The game slows down. Your opponents slow down and you speed up. That’s what I’m seeing with Dondre.” 

Daley led Iowa State in receiving with four catches and 26 yards against Kansas State.

Daley, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 191-pounds, originally hails from Tarpon Springs, Fla.