Iowa State redshirt sophomore safety Greg Eisworth during Iowa State’s first fall camp practice of 2018. (Rob Gray – Cyclone Fanatic)
Greg Eisworth finally feels at home again.
After stops at Ole Miss and Trinity Valley Community College, the 6-foot, 198-pound safety has found his home at the backend of Iowa State’s defense. Finding a place Eisworth feels comfortable has allowed him to push his way into a top spot on the Cyclones’ depth chart at strong safety entering the season opener, but that does not mean he is a finished product.
“The reality of it is, you know, he had 15 practices in the spring and we’re just through however many now so he’s a good football player,” Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock said on Thursday. “He’s a really sharp guy but still learning. That’s only fair. He’s got a couple more weeks here to get learned up and ready to go.”
It was never surprising to see Eisworth’s name at the top of the depth chart entering fall camp. Iowa State recruited the former four-star recruit from Grand Prairie, Texas, with the idea of essentially making him the replacement for graduated All-Big 12 stalwart Kamari Cotton-Moya.
There was never any doubt as to whether or not Eisworth had the talent to step into an immediate role in Iowa State’s defense. The biggest question was how quickly he would pick up Heacock’s scheme.
With the help of others in the safety room, it has not been a very difficult process.
“Spring gave me a good jump start,” Eisworth said. “(The other) safeties did a good job of accepting me and Coach Heacock’s a great coach so everything in fall camp has been really smooth.”
Eisworth pinpointed consistency as the biggest thing the safeties need to improve before they take on South Dakota State on Sept. 1. He said there are days when they will make plays and execute at a high-level, but there are others when things get a little dicey.
That is to be expected when you’re breaking in two new starters at the position, but it could also be contributed to the skill level of the Cyclones’ offense.
“Probably the most challenging thing is going against our offense,” Eisworth said. “Coach (Matt) Campbell and people like Kyle Kempt, they’re smart players and they always keep you on your toes. You make a good play one day and then they adjust the next day so I think practice is frustrating but at the end of the day, you’re only getting better.”