Pretty soon after Iowa State dropped the final game of the season and of Paul Rhoads’ tenure, news bubbled up that Jamie Pollard has his guy. It isn’t official, but it sounds like ISU is pretty close to locking down Toledo head coach Matt Campbell.
Working on the assumption that this is true, I love it. This is a case of when should and did line up. Here’s a quick list of reasons why:
1 – He has a consistent philosophy that should work at ISU. He knows where he can get guys. He will be able to go after a few bigger fish in the high school ranks than at a MAC school, but he has a definite philosophy. You don’t just stumble upon Kareem Hunt.
2 – He is a spread guy, but he does it in a run-first way. By position, he is an offensive line coach. The Rockets have been in the top 25 in rushing in each of the past two seasons. There isn’t an effort to run an air raid spread just because that’s what you “should” do. He does it the way that best fits his team’s personnel. It’s very well suited to plug and play with this offensive group of skill players.
3 – He has a tremendous amount of focus on either one of the lines. In any one of his interviews, he always brings up the big guys first. This is important because this conference will chew you up and spit you out without an emphasis on big man success (see ISU in 2014).
4 – Lou Ayeni has a good shot at staying on staff. The former Rocket running backs coach was integral in getting both Kadeem Hunt to Toledo and Mike Warren to Iowa State. Great recruiter, great coach. I’ve also heard through the grapevine that Pollard would be ok with the retention, if it happens.