WILLIAMS: Projecting Iowa State’s 2019 football depth chart

Dec 28, 2018; San Antonio, TX, United States; Iowa State Cyclones running back Kene Nwangwu (3) carries the ball against the Washington State Cougars in the 2018 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

First things first, everything that I wrote below was done with the assumption that David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler are going to soon declare for the NFL Draft. However, please don’t misconstrue this as a report that they are – because it isn’t.

We know that if either of those two come back, they will start.

With that being said, here is my projected two (sometimes three) deep for the start of next season, along with notes on why I made these decisions at the bottom of the piece. 



Brock Purdy, So.
Re-al Mitchell, Fr.
John Kolar, Sr. 


Kene Nwangwu, Jr. OR
Sheldon Croney, Sr. OR
Johnnie Lang, So. OR
Breece Hall, Fr. OR
Jirehl Brock, Fr. 


Charlie Kolar, So. OR
Chase Allen, Jr. 


Dylan Soehner, Jr. 


Deshaunte Jones, Sr.
Tarique Milton, So. 


Josh Johnson, So. OR
Tarique Milton, So.
Joseph Scates, Fr.


Landon Akers, Jr.
Jalen Martin, Jr.
Sean Shaw Jr., Fr.


Julian Good-Jones, Sr.
Sean Foster, Jr. OR
Joey Ramos, Fr. 


Colin Olson, Sr. OR
Trevor Downing, Fr. 


Colin Newell, So.
Derek Schweiger, So. 


Josh Knipfel, Sr.
Robert Hudson, So. 


Bryce Meeker, Sr.
Joey Ramos, Fr. 



JaQuan Bailey, Sr.
Will McDonald, Fr.
Blake Peterson, Fr. 


Ray Lima, Sr.
Jamahl Johnson, Sr.
Isaiah Lee, Fr. 


Enyi Uwazurike, Jr.
Matt Leo, Sr.
Zach Peterson, So. 


Marcel Spears, Sr.
Gerry Vaughn, Fr. 


Mike Rose, So.
O’Rien Vance, So.
Bobby McMillen, Sr. 


Jake Hummel, Jr.
Chandler Pulvermacher, Fr.
Aric Horne, Fr.


Braxton Lewis, Sr.
Richard Bowens, So. 


Lawrence White, Jr.
Richard Bowens, So. 


Greg Eisworth, Jr.
Jatairis Grant, Jr. 


Anthony Johnson, So.
Tayvonn Kyle, Fr.
Kym-Mani King, Fr.


Datrone Young. So.
Arnold Azunna, Jr.
Keontae Jones, Fr. 

WILLIAMS: Emptying out my Alamo Bowl notebook (plus top offseason storylines) 


At running back, I gave the returners the benefit of doubt but really do feel like Breece Hall and Jirehl Brock will come in and play right away. I think they mark a talent upgrade at the position compared to the other guys on the roster. Clearly though, a guy like Kene Nwangwu will see the field. He’s special in a different way. Perhaps we’ll see him out wide some next year? Sheldon Croney and Johnnie Lang will be involved in some capacity as well. Matt Campbell likes to use a bunch of running backs and next season will be no different. Bold prediction: Breece Hall is the starter at this position by the halfway point next year. 

Wide receiver really tripped me up. 

I feel like Tarique Milton is too good to keep “second string.” If Butler moves on, do you consider moving Milton over to the X position and playing him out wide?

The real wildcard here is Joseph Scates. Minus Butler, he is the most purely gifted wide receiver on the roster. The youngster still has a lot to prove in many areas though, I’m told. 

On the offensive line, walk-on Colin Olson filled in at the guard spot admirably in 2018 but expect him to be challenged by blue-chip recruit Trevor Downing during the offseason. 

I’m told that sophomore Derek Schwiger will be Iowa State’s next great walk-on story. 

Keep an eye on Joey Ramos, the freshman tackle. He, like Downing, will likely compete for a starting spot in the fall. 

I’ve tabbed Jake Hummel as Willie Harvey’s replacement but that could very easily be O’Rien Vance too. 

On the back end of the defense, the safety spots are set and so are the starting corners. The backups get a little tricky with some young guys stepping in. Note that I’ve placed true freshman Kym-Mani King in the mix to push for playing time at corner, much like Anthony Johnson did as a rookie in 2018. 

Arnold Azunna could be moving to safety, but a lot of that will depend on how younger corners in the program develop.