10 players to watch during the Iowa State Spring Game

Iowa State Cyclones linebacker O’Rien Vance (34) and defensive lineman Domonique Orange (95) take down West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback JT Daniels (18) during the fourth quarter in the Big-12 showdown at Jack Trice Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5. 2022, in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State will host its first spring game since 2017 on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

The team’s new Jack Trice throwback uniforms will be unveiled, but there are plenty of other things to look forward to for the day.

Here’s 10 players to watch:

J.J. Kohl will be in action for the first time in an Iowa State uniform Saturday, as one of the highest rated recruits in program history. He’ll be battling with Rocco Becht for the back-up quarterback position behind Hunter Dekkers.

When Iowa State hit the transfer portal over the off-season, a pair of offensive skill players ended up finding their ways to Ames. Former Stanford running back Arlen Harris and former Eastern Kentucky star wide receiver Jayden Higgins are both with the program this spring. Both have showed out since arriving on campus and could be regular rotational players when the season rolls around.

Iowa State held off a late push from Nebraska to sign wideout Beni Ngoyi last fall and with the class of 2023 product enrolling early, he’ll have plenty of time to get ready for college ball. The same can be said for redshirt freshman Greg Gaines, who enrolled early last year. He’s suiting up in the No. 8 jersey this year for the Cyclones.

The defensive line boasts a number of eye-opening players that could be on the cusp of breakout years in 2023. Domonique Orange and Tyler Onyedim have been on the field in the past, but are in spots to take big steps with the departures from Will McDonald IV and M.J. Anderson. On top of it, Ikenna Ezeogu has impressed the staff early this year. All three could see regular action this year.

Missouri linebacker transfer Zach Lovett will make his first appearance in the cardinal and gold this weekend, as one of the program’s big portal pickups. He was rated as the No. 35 linebacker in his class out of high school by Rivals and saw action at 13 games at Missouri.

Jeremiah Cooper might have had one of the most underrated freshman seasons in recent memory in Ames, starting seven games and appearing in each of the first nine in 2022. He recorded 32 tackles, despite missing the final three games with an injury and will be a major piece on the defense this season.