Cyclone Fanatic is counting down the days until Iowa State’s season opener against Northern Iowa by bringing you a stat, former Cyclone moment or any other random tidbits every morning to help countdown the days.
No. 7 – Joel Lanning and Willie Harvey
Seven will be an often called number for the Iowa State football team in 2016.
Obviously, it helps when the starting quarterback, junior Joel Lanning, wears the number, but it’s doubled by the fact that the odds-on favorite to lead the team in tackles, sophomore linebacker Willie Harvey, wears it too.
Lanning threw for 1,247 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games in 2015. The 6-foot-2-inch, 225-pound, Ankeny native also compiled 330 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 94 attempts after taking over for Sam Richardson as the starting quarterback with five games left in the season.
Harvey finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles in 2015 while wearing No. 15. He also added three tackles for loss and two sacks. He made a career-high 10 tackles in the team’s loss to Texas Tech.
Both players seem poised for jumps in production for a number of reasons in 2016. From all accounts, Lanning has improved his footwork when throwing the ball under new quarterbacks coach Jim Hofher, which has helped to make him quicker as a thrower and more accurate.
Harvey, on the other hand, will be helped by the team’s new 4-2-5 defense that should, in theory, open up more space for the linebackers to move freely.