We knew who our top receivers would be at the beginning of the year. We just didn’t know how things would pan out behind them, especially with a new coaching staff on board.
We heard the rumblings in the preseason: Deshaunte Jones will be a player to watch this coming year. Well, the first few games he was relatively hard to find in the stats and on the field. Here we are in week 6 and he is now a threat.
Jones has had more receptions each game as the season goes on, and he has already tallied 3 touchdowns on the season. Sometimes it just takes the younger players to gain that trust from their quarterback. He surely can be trusted now, with his speed down the field or even in the screen game. Let’s just take a quick look at his game log to see some of the progression:
UNI, 1 reception for 8 yards.
Iowa, 0 receptions.
TCU, 2 receptions for 44 yards.
SJSU, 3 receptions for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Baylor, 4 receptions for 62 yards and 1 touchdown.
Not numbers that will jump off the board at ESPN, but for a freshman to come in and show progression like that in the first few weeks is great to see. Especially in building a program for the future.
My initial perception of Jones when they announced the recruitment class was a Jarvis West-type of player, using him in the run and passing game as well as special teams. So far it has been strictly receiving, especially with Trever Ryen covering everything else. Expect that to change as he grows at Iowa State, and you never know, it may this year.
After last week’s performance by the offensive line, it was hard to not ride their momentum as a group choice for player to watch. I expect a similar performance this week, as Oklahoma State’s defensive line is similar to Baylor’s. As you know, every game is different, but it’s exciting to see the offensive line grow each game. In the end I just could not pick against Jones.
Oklahoma State in their two losses this season have given up more than 350 yards through the air. Look for Lanning or Park to have a good game through the air, and when coupled with Jones’ speed, they should be able find some open spaces to keep that Oklahoma State secondary on its toes.
I could see another close game panning out if our offense can keep drives rolling like they did against Baylor. If that is the case, expect Deshaunte Jones to be in the mix.