AMES — Welcome to game week.
Iowa State released its depth chart for Saturday’s season opener against North Dakota State on Monday morning and as always in week one, there were a few eyebrow-raising moves.
Specifically, why is sophomore wide receiver D’Vario Montgomery listed as fourth-string?
The group of wide receivers is probably the most notable object from the Monday release. Starting at Iowa State’s “Z” wide out spot will be sophomore Dondre Daley (note that for years I have been told how much potential he has). P.J. Harris and Tad Ecby will back him up. Then, there is Montgomery.
The only other notable move at wide receiver has to do with true freshman Allen Lazard, who made his depth chart debut as Iowa State’s No. 2 “X” wide out behind Quenton Bundrage.
Offensive line shake-up
Early on in camp, Paul Rhoads said that he had his starting offensive line set. Apparently not. Junior Jamison Lalk has jumped fellow junior Oni Omoile as Iowa State’s starting left guard.
Even so, expect both to play a plethora of snaps on Saturday vs. the top-ranked team in FCS football.
Last week, Rhoads said that redshirt freshman Alton Meeks would be Iowa State’s starter at middle linebacker. Monday’s depth chart backed that up.
Senior Jevohn Miller ultimately won the job at WILL linebacker over an undersized Luke Knott, which is no surprise considering the style of ball that the Bison are expected to play.
Drake Ferch was awarded a scholarship on Sunday and ultimately won the SLB job over Jared Brackens, a man who started all 12 games last season.
***DeVondrick Nealy and Jarvis West are listed as the starting kick returners. Apparently the staff ended up opting against putting Aaron Wimberly back there. Nealy and West notably returned two of the four longest kick returns for touchdowns in Iowa State history last season.
***Sam E. Richardson beat out Kenneth Lynn at left cornerback. This is no surprise and really, not that big of a deal either. Both will play significant snaps this season and are expected to essentially share the position.
*** Iowa State’s two JUCO defensive ends, Trent Taylor and Dale Pierson, are listed as backups. Taylor will play behind Mitchell Meyers at left end. Pierson is third-string behind Cory Morrissey and Darius White.