Cyclones dominate 2020 All-Big 12 awards

Nov 21, 2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell leads his team out of the tunnel before their football game against Kansas State at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.

IRVING, Texas – The Big 12 football coaches announced their All-Big 12 teams this morning, and 22 Cyclones received postseason honors for their performance on the field in 2020.

Iowa State had a historic season. The Cyclones claimed first place in the Big 12 regular-season standings and earned a spot in the Big 12 Championship for the first time in school history.

ISU also set school marks for conference wins in a season (8) and highest ranking in any poll (No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings).

Of the 22 Cyclone players, nine of them were All-Big 12 First Team selections, the most in the league and the highest total in school history.

The Cyclones had a slew of individual award winners. Breece Hall was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and Mike Rose was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Matt Campbell was the Chuck Neinas Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third time in the last four years and newcomers Xavier Hutchinson (Offensive Newcomer of the Year) and Isheem Young (Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year) were honored.

Junior Brock Purdy (QB), sophomore Breece Hall (RB), junior Xavier Hutchinson (WR), junior Charlie Kolar (TE), junior Colin Newell (OL), senior JaQuan Bailey (DE), sophomore Will McDonald (DE), junior Mike Rose (LB) and senior Greg Eisworth II (DB) were named All-Big 12 First Team, while senior Chase Allen (TE) and junior Derek Schweiger (OL) were second-teamers.

The following Cyclones made All-Big 12 Honorable Mention: Latrell Bankston (DL), Jake Hummel (LB), Anthony Johnson Jr. (DB), Tayvonn Kyle (DB), Isaiah Lee (DL), Kene Nwangwu (KR), Darrell Simmons (OL), Dylan Soehner (TE), Eyioma Uwazurike (DL) and Rory Walling (ST). 

Purdy is the first Cyclone QB to earn first team all-league honors since John Quinn in 1981. The leader of the potent Cyclone offense, Purdy is the winningest QB in school history with 22 victories.

Purdy, who is third in the league in passing touchdowns with 17, has been elite down the stretch for the Cyclones, passing for 903 yards on 70-of-91 passing (76.9%) with 10 touchdowns in the last 14 quarters.

Hall was the biggest offensive threat in the Big 12 and one of the most lethal in the country while becoming the second Cyclone in school history to win the league’s top offensive player award (Troy Davis in 1996). 

The Wichita, Kan., native leads the nation in rushing yards (1,357) and 100-yard rushing games (8).

Hall, a Maxwell and Doak Walker Award semifinalist, has rushed for over 90 yards and scored at least one touchdown in all 10 contests, scoring 114 points to rank third on ISU’s single-season list. His 19 touchdowns on the season is third nationally and second in school history.  

Hutchinson made an incredible transition from junior college by emerging as one of the top receivers and the best offensive newcomer in the Big 12.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native led the Cyclones in receptions (50) and receiving yards (612), ranking second in the Big 12 in catches per game (5.0) and third in receiving yards per game (61.2).

Hutchinson was also second on the team in touchdown catches with four.

Hutchinson caught a pass in all 10 games, including three games with eight or more snares. He went over the 80-yard mark four times, including a career-high 111 receiving yards vs. Kansas State.

Kolar was a repeat recipient on the first team, joining Ennis Haywood, A.J. Klein, Allen Lazard and Greg Eisworth as the only Cyclones in school history to be an All-Big 12 first-teamer multiple times.

A native of Norman, Okla., Kolar led all Big 12 tight ends in receptions (33), receiving yards (446) and touchdown catches (five), ranking in the top-10 nationally among tight ends in all three categories.

Kolar, a Mackey Award semifinalist, has the most receptions by a tight end in school history (95) and his 15 career touchdown grabs ties for fourth on the Cyclone record lists. 

Newell was the leader of ISU’s strong offensive line, a unit that is a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award, given annually to the nation’s best offensive line.

The hometown product of Ames has started all 10 games at center, directing the Cyclone offense to one of their most productive seasons in school history. ISU is on pace to set school records in points per game (34.0) and total offense (441.7).

The Rimington Trophy nominee has paved holes for the nation’s leading rusher (Hall) and aided in protecting All-Big 12 QB Purdy, who has been sacked the fewest in the league (10) to rank ninth nationally.

Bailey wrapped up his phenomenal Cyclone career as ISU’s all-time leader in sacks (25.5) and tackles for loss (44.5). He has 47 starts in his career, tying for the fourth-best total in the history of the program.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Bailey led the Cyclones in TFL (13.0), ranking third in the league, and was second in sacks (7.0), the fourth-best total in the Big 12. His 3.5-sack and 4.0-TFL effort vs. TCU tied single-game school marks in both categories and earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week kudos. 

McDonald proved to be one of the best pass rushers in the Big 12 in 2020, tying for first in the Big 12 and fifth nationally with 8.5 sacks. His sack total set a new Cyclone season standard.

The Pewaukee, Wis., native, who was second on the team with 11.0 TFL, had a sack in seven of 10 games this season and has 13.5 sacks in the last 14 games dating back to last season.

Rose was the lynchpin of an outstanding Cyclone defense, leading the team in tackles (81), interceptions (4) and QB hurries (4) to become the second Cyclone to receive the league’s best defensive player award (A.J. Klein in 2011).

Rose, who is fourth in the Big 12 in tackles per game (8.1), leads the Big 12, is tied for fifth nationally and is tied for first among FBS linebackers with four interceptions.

The Brecksville, Ohio native has 10.0 TFL on the season and was responsible for securing a pair of victories with interceptions late in the fourth quarter.

Eisworth, the two-time team captain and leader in the Cyclone secondary, is the first Cyclone in school history earn All-Big 12 First Team accolades three times. The last Cyclone to be a three-time first-teamer was punt returner James McMillion (Big Eight) from 1991-93. 

Eisworth, who has 31 career starts, has 41 tackles, four PBU and one interception on the season.

The Grand Prairie, Texas native has tallied nearly 200 tackles, has 9.0 TFL and three interceptions in his incredible Cyclone career.

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.