The next player in WRNL’s recruiting series is Easton Dean, a 6’6 and 220 pound dual-threat quarterback from Altamont, Kansas. Dean has already enrolled at Iowa State and is already practicing with the team.
Dean is walking into a competitive, yet crowded quarterback room. Brock Purdy is the clear starter from day one, but the backup is far from being decided. Dean will be competing with Charlie Kolar’s brother, John, a grad transfer from Oklahoma State. Re-al Mitchell is back as a redshirt freshman, since he only the saw field in one game last season. As a freshman, Dean won’t be competing for that much playing time. Instead, he will get accustomed to Iowa State’s football program and the offensive scheme.
The Iowa State quarterback room has a grand total of full two years of experience in Ames (Purdy and Mitchell,) so everyone will be learning together. John Kolar will be the veteran presence in the room, but he hasn’t played a game in cardinal and gold, and only attempted one pass in his entire career at Oklahoma State. It will be interesting how the mix of youth and grizzled, but somewhat inexperienced veterans will play out through the summer and into the season.
It’s also worth noting that when I googled a pictured of Dean, the first picture I clicked on looked like a bad photoshop. Instead, it was his high school jerseys that look like a mix of McDonald’s All-American game jerseys, terrible Paul Rhoads era uniforms, and the famous grey pants from the past. Not that any of that matters, but I just wanted to share that useless information.
Easton Dean plays big, because he is big. He has a cannon and lets it loose a lot. It also appears that Dean thrives more in the middle of the field rather than along the sidelines or in the flats. He is also a good runner, he likes to run downhill and get from point A to point B, even if that means running a guy or two over. He isn’t the fastest or the quickest guy in the world, but he is pretty fast for his size and he uses that to his advantage.
He is certainly not the prototypical drop back, perfect fundamental guy. He tends to just let it loose without using great fundamentals. Dean tends to rely on his arm strength with some pretty good accuracy. However, he definitely likes to throw it downfield a lot more than in the flats. He doesn’t throw great on the run, but he doesn’t try throwing while running very often.
He’s strong and smart, but needs work on his accuracy and his footwork. He is pretty raw when it comes to quarterbacks, but he has high potential and a lot of room to grow.
The most important part of being a quarterback is throwing the ball from the pocket, and Dean does that well here. The pocket is starting to collapse on him, but he hangs in and makes a composed, accurate throw down the field. The ball he throws looks beautiful as he drops it into his receivers hands in stride.
This play is pretty similar to the last; as the pocket collapsing he makes a composed throw on the money. This throw is a little more impressive considering where he is throwing the ball. These types of throws are something that I’m sure the coaching staff were drooling over while watching his film.
This is where things get weird. He starts off the play with a pump fake with the ball in his non-throwing hand. This is a bold strategy that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on purpose. This was also something that he did several times throughout his film, so it seems like a legit part of his game. It’ll be interesting to see how this translated to the college game because I have absolutely no idea if it will throw off teams or if it will slow him down. Other than that, he makes another good throw under pressure into single coverage. It didn’t look like he had many options on this play, but it looks like he made the best choice.
This is just a simple red zone quick slants play. Short routes in the red zone are some of the hardest to read because of the split second decision time. Dean made the right choice here and hit his receiver at the perfect time to score a touchdown. These types of situations are something that Iowa State has struggled to cap off throughout the past few seasons, so if Dean excels in it, that’s a good thing.
Now for the unique part of his game. He likes to run (people over), and being a 6’6, fast quarterback in the midwest makes everything look pretty easy. He abused everyone in this video and made it look fairly effortless. Not everyone is going to be smaller than him in the Big 12, but his downhill running style should translate pretty well.
I’m here to state the obvious, which is that Collin Klein is coming to Iowa State. Here is Klein’s scouting report from NFL.com coming out of Kansas State.
That pretty much sums up Dean’s film. Also, this isn’t a bad thing. Klein destroyed Iowa State and the Big 12 for quite some time with his unique style of football. In a way, Klein was just an advanced version of Joel Lanning before he turned to linebacker.
Dean probably won’t have the same career that Klein did, but I think they will play nearly the same style when he’s in the game.
I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how Matt Campbell and Tom Manning will use Dean in his first season, if at all. There is a chance that they could use his Lan-Ram package in the red zone and on short yardage situations like they did with Joel Lanning just two seasons ago. But, I think the more likely scenario is how Re-Al Mitchell was used a year ago. Once. Maybe not once, but I do not think he will be a key part of the offense as a freshman unless we (God forbid) have an injury.
Setting up the offense for when he’s in doesn’t really require too much of a shake up. I think he would do just fine in the pistol, much like Purdy. However, the offense will probably be more run heavy with him in the game because he’s such a good runner himself.
I have no idea how his career at Iowa State will pan out, mostly because the quarterback position is so unpredictable in Ames. Iowa State has had four starting quarterbacks in the past two seasons, but now it appears stable with Brock Purdy at the helm, so I don’t know what that means for Easton Dean.
Considering that he hasn’t played a game at Iowa State, I’m not going to make a prediction on whether he is just a backup or if he is a star. But, I do think he will have a good role on this team if he chooses to ride it out in Ames. A Lan-Ram-esque package with Dean could be something that the ISU offense missed last season, and could very well be Dean’s role on the team.