What Matt Campbell wants to see out of his team during spring practice in 2023

As Matt Campbell and a new-look staff embark on the 2023 spring football season, there’s no shortage of things to figure out.

The program is coming off a 4-8 year, its first season outside of bowl eligibility since Campbell’s opening campaign in Ames. However, the Iowa State coach is looking for more of what he saw last year in spring ball.

“I think I came away a year ago really happy with how spring practice looked and probably fall camp,” Campbell said. “I felt like us getting off to a good start – and not just even with (wins or losses) – but how we played early, I think we’ve maybe found the right formula for us in spring and fall camp.”

A year ago in spring practices, Iowa State was entering its first year removed from the Brock Purdy era in Ames and had a plentiful amount of impactful departures.

Campbell plans for this session to be just as competitive.

“Spring practice last year was competitive,” Campbell said. “You guys got to see a lot of that just because of the open practices at some of the high schools. I think it will take on a very similar form.”

Highly rated quarterback J.J. Kohl enrolled early at Iowa State and will have the pressure on starter Hunter Dekkers.

A number of incoming players will do the same at their own respective spots.

“It’s such a young team,” Campbell said. “Competition and evaluation are going to be very important for us, nor do I think will come out of this and know exactly what the starting lineup is going to look like on both sides of the ball. I think that would be false – we’re so young and you still want to grow physically during spring practice.”

Campbell will still have the team in the weight room every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the spring.

On top of growing a young team, the new coaching staff hires are able to be on the field together for the first time during the 15 practices allowed.

“To be able to get some of our new coaches, be on the practice field with these coaches, really continue to hone in on fundamentals and then create competitive environments so we can grow as a football program – I think it’s really critical and really a very similar model to what we tried to do a year ago,” Campbell said.

The spring period officially began with Iowa State’s first practice on Thursday and will lead up to up to April 22’s Spring Game return at Jack Trice Stadium. The finale practice, open to all fans, will start at 11 a.m.