Oct 5, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell watches his team play the TCU Horned Frogs at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
The following is a transcript of Matt Campbell’s time on the Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, edition of the Big 12 Teleconference.
Q: Good morning, Matt. What do you say to people who are already starting to compare Breece Hall with David (Montgomery)?
Campbell: Yeah, there’s a long way to go. I think the reality of it is David set such a great standard here for excellence in everything from how he practiced to how he played to, certainly, what he did in this community. I think the great thing is to have a guy like David that can kind of set a standard of excellence, especially at a position of not only how he played but how he carried himself in all areas. I think that’s one positive for a guy like Breece to have somebody like that to look to that’s not so distant away from the program that he can really look at and see and hold himself to the standards off the field that allowed David to become really successful on the field.
Q: Can he become that good statistically, you think?
Campbell: Yeah, you know, I think it’s way too early to tell. I do think Breece has certainly shown in the last two weeks that he’s got the ability to be a really successful running back. I think time will tell with his growth of what he wants to become and maybe where he can take his talents.
Q: How much have you see the tight ends’ blocking evolve? I think on Breece’s 75-yard run, Charlie (Kolar) was critical in there. The 30-yard touchdown run later, I think all three tight ends were involved in creating that hole. What have you seen from that evolvement?
Campbell: Well, I think the biggest evolution is we went from no tight ends in our program to having tight ends. I think that’s probably been the biggest evolution is just to have them. I think, really, Sam Seonbuchner kind of set the tone for that position a little bit of what the blocking standard looks like over the last couple of years. It has done a really good job, again, of setting a really positive standard of what the expectation looks like. I think as these tight ends have kind of grown into their roles, all three of them have understood that the starting point starts with your ability to block. All three guys have worked really hard at that.
Q: This weekend with Hubbard, Sanders and Wallace, what’s the challenge in defending Oklahoma State between that and the tempo?
Campbell: Yeah, you know, that’s a great question. The reality of it is they’re as dynamic as anybody we’ve faced offensively. Obviously, the history of Oklahoma State on the offensive side of the football and then you put these three super-talents together, it certainly is a great challenge for all of us. We’re going to have to do a really great job at the beginning of the week and put a great plan together.
Q: Matt, with Brock (Purdy) and Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders and Jalen Hurts, it seems like there’s so many more dual-threat quarterbacks around the league nowadays. Do you think this is a permanent trend?
Campbell: That’s probably a great question. I just think really nationally today the ability to have a quarterback that’s got the ability to do both well is something that you see so much in high school today. I think the ability to find those qualities, if it’s something that you’re looking for, is probably a lot easier today than it’s ever been. Obviously, in this conference right now, I think if you look up almost everybody in the Big 12, has a quarterback that’s got the ability to do both and do both well. I think that’s a challenge. I know the multiple teams that we’ve faced this year, everybody but maybe one had a quarterback that really could move and stress the pocket but also had the ability to make all the throws. I think it’s just becoming common today in college football for sure.
Q: Is there an issue between letting Brock get some freedom to run versus protecting your most valuable asset? Is there a fine line there?
Campbell: Well, I think the fine line becomes really having a great understanding for, even a guy like Brock, is situational football and making sure that when you have a guy that certainly steers the ship for us in a really positive way, you’ve got to be really smart on when you ask him to design run a football play. I think the competitor in a guy like Brock wants the ball in his hands no matter what the situation and wants to help his team be really successful.
Q: (Breece Hall) kind of reminds me a little bit of the guy I see all the time here, kind of a young Chuba Hubbard because he does everything so smoothly. It’s not like dramatic, it’s not jitterbug. It’s like a smooth, maybe one move, and stick the foot and go. He shifts gears in the middle of the runs. Talk about his style a little bit and how productive that is.
Campbell: He’s certainly unique. I agree with you so much of the ability to almost sometimes it looks like he’s sometimes not running and then next thing you know, boy, he’s kicked into a really high gear. I just think he’s a natural athlete in a lot of ways. He’s a really smooth athlete. Like you said, he can catch it out of the backfield and also can run it. I think that smoothness is something that is unique and different. It would remind me more in our past of Kareem Hunt a little bit who had that same kind of unique athleticism. But, the running back that you guys have in Chuba, I mean, you’re talking about a guy that’s doing it at a really elite level and is really fun to watch in just how smooth and athletic he is and how dynamic he is, to be honest.
Q: Was (Hall) a track guy?
Campbell: Yeah, he was a track guy. He was a track guy his sophomore and junior year then didn’t run track his senior year.
Q: Two-part question, one, it looks like Charlie Kolar is becoming a bigger and bigger part of your offense as far as a weapon you can use. Can you tell me what it is about Charlie that makes him so successful for you? Second part, he’s got John up there with him now, what has John done for you guys coming in as a backup quarterback and, also, what has John done for Charlie having those brothers together in Ames?
Campbell: I’ll start with Charlie. Charlie has really grown a great deal in our program. I think one of the things that’s fun to watch with Charlie is he’s such an intelligent young man. He’s a young man that carries a 3.94 in our engineering school here, almost a 4.0 student. He’s a guy that really competes at everything. I think what really has allowed him to grow really early in his career is his competitiveness. I got to see that his senior year. We got to go down and watch him play in the state championship game. I think the thing that I left there that day was just watching how competitive he really was on the football field. That was really fun. I think that’s carried over since he’s been here. If you remember him from high school, he was a wide receiver. He was a guy that had really good receiving skills. He’s worked really hard to become a really good tight end. That’s something that’s been really fun to watch him from a physical development and growth really start to really take great strides.
I think John was a great asset for Charlie. I think both of those guys have had a great effect on each other. I think the biggest thing that John brought to our program was a sense of maturity. John was sitting in a great quarterback room with some of the great quarterbacks that have come through our conference the last couple years and really brought a sense of maturity to our quarterback room, brought a sense of maturity to our football program and I think the reality for all of us is anytime I think some family members can come together like John and Charlie have, I think it’s good for our program. Those two have really cared about each other. They have a great relationship and that relationship that just I think strengthened our core here in terms of Iowa State football and we’re grateful to have him.