WILLIAMS: Five Cyclones who had awesome spring seasons


With spring football in the rearview mirror, here are five Cyclones who helped their caused when fall camp rolls around in August according to conversations with multiple sources. 

Willie Harvey, LB – He showed promise last season as a redshirt freshman but with a new coaching staff in place, needed to turn some heads in an open competition for every linebacker position on the field. Harvey did just that. This is a young man with All-Big 12 potential down the road. 

Robby Garcia, DL – When one birdie mentioned this name, it both surprised and encouraged me. The defensive line – specifically when it comes to depth – is always an issue at Iowa State. It’s the most difficult position to recruit in all of college football. Iowa State has to have success in the trenches by developing four and five year players. When it comes to Garcia, it sounds like the fruit of some of that labor from could be harvested this fall.

Mike Johnson, SS – Johnson has been an intriguing prospect ever since he greyshirted in 2014. Remember, Johnson signed with Iowa State after being offered by the likes of Louisville, Arizona and Texas Tech. He’s a nice looking player and as a redshirt freshman, I’m told that he would start at strong safety if the season started tomorrow.

Julian Good-Jones, C – It’s encouraging to place an offensive lineman on this list but still, Iowa State would be much better off with an upperclassman starting at center this fall. However, multiple sources have told me that Good-Jones is a guy with NFL potential and that offensive coordinator/line coach Tom Manning likes his size (or lack thereof) and athletic ability in the middle. 

D’Andre Payne, Nickel – It sounds like this JUCO newcomer is an absolute stud. Not only should Payne, who signed with Tennessee out of high school (and had offers from the likes of Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn and Clemson to name a few) start at nickel, but he will likely be an impact guy in September.

Honorable Mention

Mitch Harger, RB – I’m not in the business of hyping walk-on running backs but not only is Harger a really good story, the kid can play. The Campbell staff loves the consistency that he brings to the field every day.

Joel Lanning, QB – I’m told that Lanning came on strong at the end of the spring especially. Campbell was impressed with his leadership in the last couple of scrimmages

Pierre Aka, DT – (See Robby Garcia above)

Gabe Luna, DE – This one kind of came out of nowhere. Luna has greatly struggled with injuries during his time in Ames and if he is good (and healthy) enough to see the field, that’s a big bonus for Iowa State’s defense.