Iowa State began their fall camp on Monday. There is no shortage of news or questions from fans once football season begins. What will the offensive line look like? How will Joel Lanning look at linebacker? Who will actually get to wear number 7 on defense once the season starts? For now, let’s stick to what we do know for sure.
Throughout the next few weeks, we will cover some of the hot topics coming out of Ames up until Iowa State takes on UNI on September 2nd.
We all know teams aren’t officially able to practice during the summer, but coach Campbell has mentioned many times that summer workouts have been intense and have brought the team together.
Iowa State let a few games go in the 4th quarter last year. Summer workouts and conditioning are what get you that extra push late in a game. Coach Campbell touched on that after Monday’s practice.
“Our kids spent the entire off-season doing what I call perfecting their craft. Those are the things that when it’s the third or fourth quarter and it’s that critical play you have to make, that’s what you rely back on.” Matt Campbell said of his team’s workouts.
Teamwork On Display
One of the biggest things many of the coaches and players are talking about so far is how close the team is this season. Matt Campbell has switched up how they do workouts as a team and how they spend time with one another, and the changes have already begun to pay off. Michael Admire reported on it Thursday night.
Kamilo Tongamoa is On the Way
We have been patiently waiting the arrival of highly touted recruit Kamilo Tangamoa. Matt Campbell told the press that Tongamoa will be on his way to Ames next week. While that is certainly great news, he will be far behind in reps and workouts. All we can do is hope that he will show up in shape and hopefully make some sort of impact within the first few games as he gets his feet under him.
Tight Ends Looking to Take Off
Alex Golesh wanted tight ends to be a big part of Iowa State’s offense last year. With Chase Allen being hit by a car before camp starting, the tight end position never really took off. This year is going to be different. Allen is healthy and the position is much deeper than it has been the last few seasons.
Allen, Sam Harms, Sam Seonbuchner, Charlie Kolar, and Dylan Soehner are going to bring out an impressive lineup of intelligence (most everyone in the TE room is an engineering major) and physicality.
“When they were at Toledo, they had different packages where there were four tight ends in the game at the same time, so you’ve got guys like Dylan Soehner, who is very large and has gotten so much better this past summer and this past spring and then Sam Seonbuchner, who comes back and had an awesome end of the year last year,“ Allen told the media on Tuesday.
It sure would be interesting to see a four tight end package trot out on the field this fall. Tight ends will surely be a position to watch this fall.
Defensive Backfield Will Be Deep
It’s no secret that Iowa State has been very deep at defensive back the last few years, and this season should be more of the same. It’s currently unknown how coveted freshman Keontae Jones will fit in the defensive rotation this fall, but redshirt freshman Arnold Azunna has vaulted into the conversation for significant playing time.
Azunna was a big talking point on Wednesday as the defensive backs met with the media. Position coach D.K. McDonald mentioned Azunna ability to consistently be involved in plays and make plays on the ball. Azunna was not one the higher ranked recruits for Matt Campbell’s first class, but he certainly has taken advantage of his redshirt year.
D’Andre Payne and Brian Peavy will be the class of the group at corner. Incoming freshman Richard Bowens III also had a strong spring after enrolling early, and has been mentioned as a candidate for meaningful playing time. Kamari Cotton-Moya and Evrett Edwards will anchor the topside of the defense.
We should see some new names pop up here as camp rolls on.
Battle For No. 7
Joel Lanning and Willie Harvey both wore number 7 last season, but played different sides of the ball. With Lanning moving to linebacker, only one player will be able to keep their number for the upcoming season. During Wednesday’s practice, multiple Cyclones wore number 7 as the battle began.
Allen Lazard got in the mix during media day, putting on Joel Lanning’s jersey for much of the event. Willie Harvey let Cyclone fans know to vote for him on Twitter, but is unsure if this will come down to a true vote or if they will have some sort of competition. If you are looking for something fun to watch in camp, this competition may be worth keeping tabs on.
Allen Lazard: I want to leave this place in a better spot than I found it, so that we can win bowl games and championships down the line. pic.twitter.com/Ej6Nc3IXqs— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) August 3, 2017
Media Day Special
If you were unable to catch any of Thursday’s media day, here is the special that aired on Cyclones.TV.