Jason Essex enters transfer portal

Billups06

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I mean, I thought it was opened up quite a bit after the Ohio game. I really wouldn't call it conservative from then on. You just hear people pumping up these WRs like they're the next big thing or the light bulb is coming on and then they flame out and transfer. Meanwhile, portal guys like Higgins or JUCO guys like Hutchinson are taking all their snaps. There's some kind of disconnect either in the staff's evaluations or in their development.

Earlier in CMC's tenure (after Butler, Jones, Milton etc.), if you weren't a top 1 or 2 receiver, you likely weren't getting the ball thrown your way, given the usage rates of our TE's. I believe Kolar had the most targets and 2nd most targets his final two years. Top 4 targets were 2 receivers and 2 TE's for a few seasons. And if you couldn't block as a WR, you weren't seeing the field.

Currently, I think the 'target' numbers are shifting where we have a 1 true pass catching TE, creating more opportunities for WR's to step up. We'll see if that changes productivity of high school WR's.
 
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bozclone

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I wonder if WR is like big men in basketball. Big men dominate at the HS level due to their size, but it often doesn't immediately transfer to college. Is it possible that traits a wide out uses to be successful at the high school level just aren't enough at the next level? Size, speed, and athletic ability can dominate in high school. In college you need to be more well rounded. Route running, blocking, and other things are just as important. You also have to show that you will catch a high percentage of passes thrown to you. It seems like it is easier to recruit older more polished wide outs rather than recruit high school kids and develop them. At least it is at Iowa State.
 

coolerifyoudid

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I wonder if WR is like big men in basketball. Big men dominate at the HS level due to their size, but it often doesn't immediately transfer to college. Is it possible that traits a wide out uses to be successful at the high school level just aren't enough at the next level? Size, speed, and athletic ability can dominate in high school. In college you need to be more well rounded. Route running, blocking, and other things are just as important. You also have to show that you will catch a high percentage of passes thrown to you. It seems like it is easier to recruit older more polished wide outs rather than recruit high school kids and develop them. At least it is at Iowa State.
I agree, but I don't think it's exclusive to us. The gap in competition level at certain positions definitely comes into play. Once they hit college and start facing 6' and taller corners with strength and speed, they need to work on route-running and timing to gain separation and actually get the ball in their hands. Some of these naturally gifted athletes that have had free reign on their HS field can't adjust mentally or physically to the work that is needed to improve the finer parts of their craft.

In the end, a WR that can't get separate from the defender does nothing for your offense.
 
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Tre4ISU

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I agree, but I don't think it's exclusive to us. The gap in competition level at certain positions definitely comes into play. Once they hit college and start facing 6' and taller corners with strength and speed, they need to work on route-running and timing to gain separation and actually get the ball in their hands. Some of these naturally gifted athletes that have had free reign on their HS field can't adjust mentally or physically to the work that is needed to improve the finer parts of their craft.

In the end, a WR that can't get separate from the defender does nothing for your offense.

Yes and it's slightly concerning that especially recently, we aren't developing those guys. Noel was pretty good as a freshmen and while he's gotten better that's not some sort of huge developmental curve. Otherwise, our successful receivers are those trained and proven elsewhere. It doesn't really matter where you get them as long as you get them but it has to be something other teams will look to point out in the future. Previous to the 23 class, we're Noel away from having zero real impact guys that came from HS as a WR. Jackson could join him but I wouldn't say he has yet. Hopefully Ngoyi, Black and Robinson turn that around in the future. I don't really love the idea of relying on the portal in the future.
 

Drew0311

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Spring football transfers usually don't move the needle to much since they are usually just guys finding out they will not be getting much playing time the next season.
 

coolerifyoudid

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Yes and it's slightly concerning that especially recently, we aren't developing those guys. Noel was pretty good as a freshmen and while he's gotten better that's not some sort of huge developmental curve. Otherwise, our successful receivers are those trained and proven elsewhere. It doesn't really matter where you get them as long as you get them but it has to be something other teams will look to point out in the future. Previous to the 23 class, we're Noel away from having zero real impact guys that came from HS as a WR. Jackson could join him but I wouldn't say he has yet. Hopefully Ngoyi, Black and Robinson turn that around in the future. I don't really love the idea of relying on the portal in the future.
Sadly, I think a part of our lack of development is tied directly to our offensive schemes. IMO, most receivers are like running backs. They need in-game reps to hit their groove. 2 catches on 4 attempts isn't going to keep these guys engaged.

I know CMC likes a ball-controlled offense to keep our defense rested, but there's a flip side to that tactic. WRs are going to, for lack of a better term, get 'bored' running decoy routes to occupy linebackers versus catching balls and making plays.

** Disclaimer: zero coaching experience, just a fan
 
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Halincandenza

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Not sure if either saw the field enough for us to be able to compare the two. However, every WR that transfers from UI typically does well in other systems
Name a WR that has done well besides Charlie Jones and he actually looked good at Iowa. Most of them transfer down and do nothing.
Now, as far as Bostick goes... who knows? He had good offers in HS after his Junior year but he has pretty much been injured since that time.
 

RagingCloner

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Name a WR that has done well besides Charlie Jones and he actually looked good at Iowa. Most of them transfer down and do nothing.
Now, as far as Bostick goes... who knows? He had good offers in HS after his Junior year but he has pretty much been injured since that time.
now that you mention it, Jones might be the only one lol
 

Aclone

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Yes and it's slightly concerning that especially recently, we aren't developing those guys. Noel was pretty good as a freshmen and while he's gotten better that's not some sort of huge developmental curve.
Jaylin Noel went from 39 catches as a freshman, to 60 as a sophomore, with less than ten ypc and only 3 TD’s, then to 66 catches for 820 and 7 TD’s.

The latter both with new starting QB’s.

But sure, “not a huge developmental curve”.
 
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Aclone

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Even a guy like Beni…he’s supposed to be the next big thing. Yet he barely played last year and if he was going to be ready, they wouldn’t have brought in Alston. Honestly I’d be more surprised if he finished his career at ISU than if he didn’t.
I think that you’ve misread the situation.

The only place that Beni was the “next big thing” was here, and that was for his raw athleticism. Sure, Nebraska pushed for him late, but that was because the big instate WR recruit was waffling.

Even on Cyning Day, CMC mentioned Beni as being a go up and get the ball guy, while calling Michael Parkes the big WR commit of the class.

The truth is, Beni was a raw athlete who hadn’t played in a sophisticated HS offense. He simply needed time to polish all of that raw athleticism. And he’s added muscle.

And Alston was brought in for a quickie because why not grab another top tier athlete? He’s another Higgins, in the right circumstances he could be an NFL guy. Three top outside guys is better than two, and he brings more maturity to what will be a pretty young wideout room instead of those four.

Sadly, I think a part of our lack of development is tied directly to our offensive schemes. IMO, most receivers are like running backs.
I think you’re kinda right, just not in the right direction. What’s the CMCism, about “Players/XXX/ Schemes”?

They haven’t had the athletes outside to open it up more. That’s changes, and CMC was pretty gleeful about that fact this Spring.

There’s something else some of you aren’t factoring in. A good chunk of recruiting is based on credibility, and our guys just haven’t had it. The one “decent” draft pick hasn’t made it, and the two guys with careers weren’t gaudy draft picks whatsoever.

Williams and Blum seemed to think that Higgins had a good chance of being drafted fairly early this year. I dunno about that, not tapped in. But from what little I’ve seen of Alston’s hands and sheer athleticism, there may be two.

And that would establish recruiting cred.

Guess we’ll see.
 
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Frak

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I think that you’ve misread the situation.

The only place that Beni was the “next big thing” was here, and that was for his raw athleticism. Sure, Nebraska pushed for him late, but that was because the big instate WR recruit was waffling.

Even on Cyning Day, CMC mentioned Beni as being a go up and get the ball guy, while calling Michael Parkes the big WR commit of the class.

The truth is, Beni was a raw athlete who hadn’t played in a sophisticated HS offense. He simply needed time to polish all of that raw athleticism. And he’s added muscle.

And Alston was brought in for a quickie because why not grab another top tier athlete? He’s another Higgins, in the right circumstances he could be an NFL guy. Three top outside guys is better than two, and he brings more maturity to what will be a pretty young wideout room instead of those four.


I think you’re kinda right, just not in the right direction. What’s the CMCism, about “Players/XXX/ Schemes”?

They haven’t had the athletes outside to open it up more. That’s changes, and CMC was pretty gleeful about that fact this Spring.

There’s something else some of you aren’t factoring in. A good chunk of recruiting is based on credibility, and our guys just haven’t had it. The one “decent” draft pick hasn’t made it, and the two guys with careers weren’t gaudy draft picks whatsoever.

Williams and Blum seemed to think that Higgins had a good chance of being drafted fairly early this year. I dunno about that, not tapped in. But from what little I’ve seen of Alston’s hands and sheer athleticism, there may be two.

And that would establish recruiting cred.

Guess we’ll see.

Yeah, we will see. So far this staff's record recruiting HS WRs is around 2-13 depending on how you view guys like Daniel Jackson and Shawn Shaw. But even with Jackson, there was another Daniel Jackson that we were recruiting and we picked the wrong one. He ended up doing really well at MN. Now maybe some of the evaluation misses will decrease with a new WR coach, but it hasn't been pretty. On the other hand, they seem to do an excellent job at scouting WRs in the portal and at JUCO. That kind of tells you that we haven't been very good at developing guys...although Noel would be a major exception. When he was a FR, I didn't think he was a B12 player. As a Soph, I thought he was a B12 backup at best. Last year, he was a legit B12 player and probably one of the top 10-15 in the league.

I do think that some of the problem is the scheme. When you have a fullback in, it's pretty easy to see that they're running and where the ball is going. Teams like Memphis just flew to the fullback and blew up plays. Some of that is that the OL was so bad that it needed TE/FB help to run the ball, some of it is that people didn't really respect our WRs enough to need to keep a Safety back. We've always been VERY predictable under Campbell...he wants to run the ball, but we've never had the OL to just line up and do it. Hopefully Mouser fixes some of this.
 

superiorcyclone

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Yeah, we will see. So far this staff's record recruiting HS WRs is around 2-13 depending on how you view guys like Daniel Jackson and Shawn Shaw. But even with Jackson, there was another Daniel Jackson that we were recruiting and we picked the wrong one. He ended up doing really well at MN. Now maybe some of the evaluation misses will decrease with a new WR coach, but it hasn't been pretty. On the other hand, they seem to do an excellent job at scouting WRs in the portal and at JUCO. That kind of tells you that we haven't been very good at developing guys...although Noel would be a major exception. When he was a FR, I didn't think he was a B12 player. As a Soph, I thought he was a B12 backup at best. Last year, he was a legit B12 player and probably one of the top 10-15 in the league.

I do think that some of the problem is the scheme. When you have a fullback in, it's pretty easy to see that they're running and where the ball is going. Teams like Memphis just flew to the fullback and blew up plays. Some of that is that the OL was so bad that it needed TE/FB help to run the ball, some of it is that people didn't really respect our WRs enough to need to keep a Safety back. We've always been VERY predictable under Campbell...he wants to run the ball, but we've never had the OL to just line up and do it. Hopefully Mouser fixes some of this.
Running the ball well makes the passing game easier. We struggled with our o-line play. Scheme, schmeme. We need to be better across the board.
 

Frak

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Running the ball well makes the passing game easier. We struggled with our o-line play. Scheme, schmeme. We need to be better across the board.
For sure we need to be better across the board. I mean, if you want to simplify it, if you have an elite OL, you don’t need a good playcaller and you can get by with average skill players. Reality is as long as hok is putting OLs in the league, ISU is not going to have an elite OL. That’s just the truth. Right now, I would settle for average. ISU needs to be less predictable with scheme and have above average skill players to win.
 

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