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Football

WILLIAMS: Way too early 2018 depth chart projections

Dec 30, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back David Montgomery (32) carries the ball against Memphis Tigers linebacker Shareef White (30) during the second half in the 2017 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.Iowa State Cyclones defeated the Memphis Tigers 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly following Iowa State’s 21-20 Liberty Bowl victory over Memphis last Saturday, Matt Campbell alluded to the fact that he was already thinking about next year.

The Fanatics get it. Part of being a Fanatic is the fact that we are always thinking about the future.

With bowl games on in the background, prepping for 2018 is what I did on Monday afternoon. I used the knowledge I already have, some trusty contacts and on-field performance this year to come up with this way too early Iowa State football depth chart for the start of the 2018 season.

Before reading the actual depth chart, please consider the following notes.


*** For a starting point, I have Iowa State graduating six starters on offense (Kyle Kempt QB, Allen Lazard WR, Marchie Murdock WR, Trever Ryen WR, Robby Garcia OL, Jake Campos OL) and six on defense (Vernell Trent DL, J.D. Waggoner DL, Joel Lanning LB, Evrett Edwards DB, Reggie Wilkerson DB, Kamari Cotton-Moya DB).

*** I am assuming that Kyle Kempt does not get a sixth year.

*** I still believe that Iowa State will add a graduate transfer quarterback to its roster the offseason. That doesn’t mean that Zeb Noland, who looked very capable of leading a Big 12 team in the small amount of time we saw him this season, won’t be the guy. What Iowa State currently has includes Noland, a redshirt freshman who is coming off of a bad injury (Devon Moore) and a true freshman (Re-al Mitchell) as backups. It’s just not a lot of depth for a program that historically uses more than one quarterback in a season.

*** One competition to watch during the spring on the offensive line is how Jacob Bolton performs. If Bolton shows the staff that he is capable of starting, it could give Tom Manning the luxury of moving Bryce Meeker inside to start at guard opposite of Josh Knipfel. Right now, I have Robert Hudson slotted in there with Oge Udeogu as a backup, but that’s incredibly fluid.

*** The defensive line, in my opinion, is absolutely loaded. This is the deepest group I have ever seen at Iowa State. I don’t think I am wearing cardinal colored glasses when I write that there are four or five guys on the roster capable of someday playing at the next level. I am guessing that Tongamoa will be the man at DT next year, which would move Uwazurike back outside. It will be a heck of a competition between he and Matt Leo at the DE spot opposite of JaQuan Bailey in the spring.

*** Bold prediction: Freshman O’Rien Vance will end up winning the MIKE LB job. He’s a freak. The staff loves what they have seen from freshman Jake Hummel as well. I’ve got an OR between those two at the backup MIKE spot but could really see any of the three getting the nod next September.

*** The non-cornerback secondary spots were tough. I’m confident placing Lawrence White as the man to replace Kamari Cotton-Moya at FS but am not crazy about placing Keontae Jones as a backup. My guess is he earns a starting spot somewhere in the secondary.

Way too early 2018 depth chart projections 

DEFENSE

QB

Zeb Noland, So.
Devon Moore, Fr. OR Re-Al Mitchell, Fr.

RB

David Montgomery, Jr.
Kene Nuwangu, So. OR Sheldon Croney, Jr. OR Mike Warren, Sr. OR Johnnie Lang, Fr.

TE

Chase Allen, So.
Dylan Soehner, So.

F

Sam Seanbuchner, Sr.

WRM

Deshaunte Jones, Jr.
Josh Johnson, Fr. OR
Tarique Milton, Fr.

WRX

Matthew Eaton, Sr.
Jalen Martin, So.

WRZ

Hakeem Butler, Jr.
Carson Epps, Sr.

LT

Sean Foster, So.
Jacob Bolton, Fr.

LG

Robert Hudson, Fr.
Oge Udeogu, Sr.

C

Jullian Good-Jones, Jr.
Will Windham, Sr.

RG

Josh Knipfel, Jr.
Josh Mueller, So.

RT

Bryce Meeker, Jr.
Jacob Bolton, Fr.

DEFENSE

DE

Enyi Uwazurike, So.
Matt Leo, Jr.
Carson Lensing, So.

NG

Ray Lima, Jr.
Jamahl Johnson, Jr.

DT

Kamilo Tongamoa, Sr.
Angel Dominguez, Fr.

LEO

JaQuan Bailey, Jr.
Spencer Benton, Sr.

LB

Marcel Spears, Jr.
Reggan Northrup, Sr.

LB

Tymar Sutton, So.
O’Rien Vance, Fr. OR Jake Hummel, Fr.

LB

Willey Harvey, Sr.
Reggan Northrup, Sr.

Star

Jatairis Grant, So.
O.J. Tucker, Fr.

FS

Lawrence White, So.
Keontae Jones, Fr.

SS

Greg Eisworth, Jr.
Braxton Lewis, Jr.

LC

D’Andre Payne, Sr.
Arnold Azunna, So.

RC

Brian Peavy, Sr.
De’Monte Ruth, Sr.

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