It only took until mid-July, but we have our first depth chart! Iowa State releases their two-deep just in time for the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas.
And kickoff is only 47 days away!
We also have just as much depth as there are surprises on this one, folks. Without further ado, here is the depth chart.
It looks like Campbell and company will start with 12 players on the field on both sides of the ball. I wonder how many times we can get away with that until the @Big12Refs notice. Bold strategy Cotton!
PLAYMAKERS = We are who we thought we were
Nothing surprising in the backfield. I look for Jacob Park to firmly supplant Zeb Noland in the QB No. 2 spot, as we don't need to have a true freshman burn his redshirt.
Mike Warren leads the running backs, and behind him is the patented "or" position with journeyman Mitchell Harger and guy-with-a-much-higher-ceiling in Sheldon Croney.
The receivers are as expected, with Lazard and Daley on outside, and do-it-all Trever Ryan at the "M" position. No surprise here
Justin Chandler narrowly beat out JUCO transfer Clifford "The Big Red Dog" Fernandez, as they vie to increase the insurmountable amount of catches by an ISU Tight End last year: 6.
LINE = Please Lord, don't get hurt
And this is where it gets a bit dicey. You will notice a few names you may have never heard before. The starters are no surprise, but the backups may scare you a bit. Backing up LT Jaypee Philbert is none other than redshirt senior Breion Creer, who has never seen the field in his four years. Uh oh.
Other notable backups (good this time) are JUCO transfer Karson Green at left guard (who could play anywhere), and at center is Minnesota grad transfer Brian Bobek. He neither wants to play in the Big Ten, nor does he need a scholarship. And for that, we thank you.
A lot of fresh faces with little experience, lets hope that Tom Manning's magic can band this patch work group together and make them look reasonable.
LINE = Meh
Demond Tucker leads the bunch, and that's about it. Again, not much depth (nor beef).
At the end spot, we have J.D. Waggoner, who has gained all of 5 pounds since last season. I see that position getting eaten up by 6-foot-6 Jhaustin Thomas, who is probably just slow at learning the playbook.
Gabe Luna leads the LEO position, which will be counted upon for the speed rush, and also pass coverage. Cancer survivor Mitchell Meyers has made the courageous comeback, and backs him up. To see that name on the depth chart is truly a testament to how hard that man has worked to get back on the field.
Linebackers = Ugh
It looks like the two linebacker spots will be filled by Willie Harvey and Kane Seeley. I'd rather see anybody other than Seeley and his slow ass feet, so look for Brian Mills to take his spot after 5 missed assignments in the UNI game.
Star/Sam = Interesting
With the 4-2-5 defense, we have a new spot, but not really, just a cooler name. Against running teams and early downs we will see the SAM linebacker on the field, and in passing downs (against all Big 12 teams), we will see the Star position, which is a hybrid safety/corner spot. Leading that charge are highly touted transfers D'Andre Payne and Thadd Daniels.
Secondary = Top Notch
This is the strength of the defense, led on the outside by Jomal Wiltz and Brian Peavy. Don't look into No. 2 CB Nigel Tribune as a demotion, just that Wiltz is better. Both will see plenty of playing time.
No surprise with Cotton-Moya, but redshirt freshman Mike Johnson at the other spot is,but we will see Duke Transfer Evrett Edwards in no time.
What's the Word of The Day? It comes to us from your folks at Reading Rainbow - Patience