Iowa State set for reunion with former Cyclone Tarique Milton

Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Tarique Milton (1) celebrates a touchdown as the Longhorns take on the Cyclones in Ames, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. © Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

When Iowa State takes the field for Saturday morning’s battle with Texas in Austin, there will be one very familiar face on the opposing sideline.

That is, of course, Longhorns senior wide receiver Tarique Milton, who spent the first four years of his college career at Iowa State and was a vital piece of some of the best offenses in program history.

Milton, a native of Bradenton, Fla., decided to enter the transfer portal after last season as his playing time diminished with the emergence of, at the time, true freshman Jaylin Noel.

Despite Milton’s decision to leave the program, you can rest assured there will be no hard feelings on the side wearing cardinal and gold.

“Man, Tarique is such a great kid,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell told Cyclone Fanatic on Tuesday. “His growth not only as a football player, but just as a human being in our program, I don’t know if I could be prouder because he went from, man, a young man to a man, and what he’s about, what he stands for, he’s incredible.”

Milton caught 99 passes for 1,519 yards and seven touchdowns while appearing in 34 games for Iowa State from 2018-21. His 20.6 yards per reception average in 2019 ranked second in the Big 12, seventh nationally and stands as the third-best single-season mark in Iowa State history.

He also finished his Iowa State career with the program’s seventh-best career punt return average by tallying 10.68 yards per return.

Oddly enough, Milton’s best performance during his last season as a Cyclone came against Texas when he caught two passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in Iowa State’s dominant win last year in Ames.

So far this season for Texas, Milton has appeared in all six games while recording one catch for 28 yards in the Longhorns’ thrilling loss to Texas Tech last month. The reception was the 100th of his college career.

“I think there was a point in time where he thought he’s gonna be done playing,” Campbell said of Milton’s decision to leave the program. “I think there was a part of him that said, ‘Man, I want to keep playing. I want to continue on,’ and he ends up at Texas, and good for him, but it’ll be different a little bit. At the end of the day, we’re all really proud of Tarique and what he stood for in this program.”

Perhaps the biggest lasting impression Milton made on the program is the impact he made on Noel, Iowa State’s No. 2 receiver on this year’s team, and how he helped develop the Kansas City native into an instant impact player last season.

The sophomore is looking forward to seeing his former teammate even if he will be wearing different colors on Saturday.

“It’ll be fun,” Noel said on Tuesday. “I haven’t seen him in a while, but we always keep in touch, just giving each other pointers. Him helping develop me last year, I’m very grateful for (that). I’m very excited to see him and hopefully see him play.”

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.