AMES — Iowa State’s football team has lost another player.
At least this time, it’s not due to injury.
Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads said Tuesday that previously third-string running back Rob Standard has left the team to focus on progressing toward graduation.
Standard, a 5-10, 210-pound junior from St. Louis, saw some special teams action the past two seasons, but hasn’t carried the ball once since rushing eight times for 27 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt freshman.
“Rob’s going to pursue his academics,” Rhoads said. “He’s on track to graduate this spring. To do that, he’s got to fulfill quite a bit both fall and spring and he’s going to focus on that and finish up getting his degree.”
Standard’s name was not in its standard third-string spot when Monday’s depth chart was released.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Brown moved up to that position and true freshman Martinez Syria was inserted as the fourth-stringer.
It’s unclear whether Syria will play at any point this season, given the option still remains to redshirt him.
“We’ll see,” Rhoads said. “It’s something that we’re going to talk about as the week goes along. He’s not being prepared for one touch. That would be a waste of a year. So it’s something that we’re continuing to talk about as a staff.”
Syria, a 6-0, 205-pounder from Humble, Texas, made a case for playing time by showcasing the potential that flows primarily from his sturdy frame.
“He’s a bigger, stronger runner than everything else that we have,” Rhoads said. “Aaron (Wimberly) and (DeVondrick Nealy) run hard. But they don’t have the body weight behind them that Martinez does. At the same time Martinez has those physical attributes he doesn’t necessarily run like the body that he is yet. So that doesn’t give us anything either. If he continues to show us he can run to the body type that he is right now then he puts himself in a position to get on the field.”
MANGINO ON BAYLOR “D”: ISU offensive coordinator Mark Mangino said he’s noticed marked improvement from the Bears’ defense on an annual basis since Art Briles took over the program in 2008. “Of course Phil Bennett’s his coordinator and Phil always does a good job with the defense wherever he coaches,” Mangino said. “They’re active. I think up front their better than a lot of people had anticipated. They’ve got pretty good inside guys, they’ve got some edge rushers. In the secondary their pretty talented. They play the ball well. Really good run stoppers on defense. They don’t beat themselves. They’re making plays.”
BURNHAM ON BAYLOR “O”: ISU defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said watching film of 2014 Baylor convinces him of one thing. A scary thing. “They’re a better team than last year,” Burnham said. “(They) execute. More physical running the ball than they were last year. You look at tape and it doesn’t matter which 11 they put out there, when it gets their turn to make a play, they make a play. When it’s their turn to be physical and block, whether it be a wide receiver, an offensive lineman, a back — they make those plays.”