AMES — Iowa State cornerback Nigel Tribune will miss his second game of the season on Saturday when the Cyclones visit Kinnick Stadium to take on Iowa (6:30 kick on BTN).
The senior defensive back was suspended indefinitely by head coach Matt Campbell after being arrested for an OWI in July.
Tribune, a Jacksonville, Fla. native, was the only true freshman to play during Iowa State’s 2013 season. He was a second-team AP All-Big 12 selection in 2014 while recording 64 tackles. He made 37 tackles in 2015 while making eight starts.
“Nigel is healthy to go,” Campbell said on Tuesday. “But Nigel will not play in this game.”
Tribune was listed as Jomal Wiltz’s backup at cornerback coming out of spring practice, but hasn’t been listed on any of Iowa State’s most recently released depth charts.
It is unclear what the 5-foot-10-inch, 179-pounder still needs to do to find his way back on to the field this season, though Campbell said there is a plan in place that could lead to his return.
“Nigel and I have a plan,” Campbell said. “One thing I’ll tell you from Nigel’s standpoint, is I’m really proud of him. He’s done a tremendous job since his incident. We kinda tiered what I asked him to do and what I want him to learn from this mistake, understand and continue to grow. Nigel certainly has done that so I’m really proud of what Nigel’s doing and what he’s done. Nigel and I kinda know where we’re going to go with this and I’ll certainly let you guys know as we go.”
Campbell hoped to go to Park against UNI
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jacob Park has been a hot name in Iowa State circles since Campbell and his staff landed the former Georgia Bulldog on National Signing Day in February. That continued to build as rumors swirled that Park was a standout during fall camp.
Campbell didn’t do anything to slow the hype surrounding his backup quarterback when he said on this week’s Cyclone Call-In Show that he had hoped to get Park into the game against UNI. He doubled-down on that thought on Wednesday.
“We had talked to Jacob, and really talked to Joel (Lanning), and said, ‘Hey, we’d really like to play Jacob sometime in the first half of the football game last week,’” Campbell said. “Again, it never really presented itself where I felt like, hey, this is the right time to kinda put him into the football game. In fairness to him, too, I don’t know if it was the right situation to put him into the football game. I think those are just situations where you try to be honest with both players. You try to be honest with Jacob. It’s frustrating at times for Jacob, because he’s a guy that, obviously, wants to play, but Joel has earned the right to be the starting quarterback.”
Park, a former four-star recruit and South Carolina’s Mr. Football in 2013, hasn’t played a live snap since high school. He redshirted during his one season in Athens, took a semester off, then spent the spring 2016 semester at NE Oklahoma A&M, but didn’t play football.
Lanning’s 18-of-28 for 256-yard, three touchdown and two interception performance against the Panthers likely didn’t help to slow the discussion of Park’s potential. It will be interesting to see how Campbell and offensive coordinator handle this situation moving forward as they try to find a way to get Park some experience.
“You don’t want Jacob’s first opportunity to go in to be when he has to go in,” Campbell said. “It really wasn’t a perfect situation. There was never a flow to the game that you felt like you could put him in. That doesn’t mean the score, that just meant kinda the choppiness of how that game was. So I think we’ll make that evaluation again this weekend and kinda see where we’re at. Joel’s our guy right now and Joel continues to work at it, but Jacob has worked really hard and had a really good fall camp for us.”