Each day leading up to Iowa State’s season opener against South Dakota State, Cyclone Fanatic will check another day off the calendar with a memorable statistic, player or game as part of our Countdown to Kickoff presented by Tailgate Clothing.

There have not been many linebackers more impactful at Iowa State than Matt Blair. While wearing No. 47, Blair earned All-American and All-Big Eight honors as a rover in 1973.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Dayton, Ohio native recorded 77 tackles, forced three fumbles, recovered three fumbles and intercepted a pass during his accolade loaded senior season. His best statistical season came as a sophomore in 1971 in which Blair recorded 115 tackles, recovered six fumbles and intercepted four passes while helping the Cyclones make their first bowl berth in program history.

Blair finished his Iowa State career with 202 tackles, nine fumble recoveries, five interceptions and three forced fumbles. The 1974 NFL Draft second-round pick went on to star for the Minnesota Vikings, making the Pro Bowl six times, from 1974-85.

Blair, alongside Otto Stowe, is one of only two former Cyclones to appear in multiple Super Bowls (IX and XI).

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.