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Top 50 Greatest Cyclone Football Players: 40-36

Dan McCarney’s players seem to be the theme this week.

We are another week closer to the season opener against Northern Iowa. That means it is time for our third group of the 50 Greatest Cyclone Football Players of All Time. This week, we unveil spots 40-36. This weeks group has a common Dan McCarney theme as well as another current Cyclone defender that has help paved way for the Matt Campbell era thus far. Let’s take a look at spots 46-36.

40. Stevie Hicks (2003-2006)

Stevie Hicks was a very talented running back for Iowa State, though we may not have even seen his fullest potential due to the injury setbacks he had during his time in Ames. Hicks would play a role in his first season as a Cyclone, while only amounting for a total of 471 yards. The sophomore season is where Hicks would break out. For the 2004 season, Hicks would rush for 1,062 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. In the Independence Bowl, Hicks would rush for 159 yards on 27 carries and be named offensive MVP for his efforts.

The next season, Hick’s injuries began to pile up. Keeping him out for a total of 3 games. He would rush for over 100 yards in 3 games that season, but only totaled 545 yards and 4 touchdowns that year due to the injury problems. Stevie Hicks was a fan favorite during his time in Ames, and Cyclones everywhere continue to tell great stories of their favorite moments of his.

39. Alvin “Ace” Bowen (2004-2007)

Des Moines Register

Alvin Bowen is another one of the great linebackers that have come through Ames to make this list. During his junior and senior seasons, Bowen was the focal point of the Cyclone defense, and was an absolute tackling machine. In 2006, Bowen made 115 stops, for an average of 12.91 tackles per game, which led the nation. He had a season high 20 total tackles in the season opener against Toledo, and made another 18 and 17 against Kansas and Nebraska, respectively. He was named All-Big 12 in 2006.

The following season, Bowen made 99 total stops. He also led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss, and forced a team-high five fumbles. Bowen would be once again be named to the All-Big 12 Team for his efforts. Following Iowa State, Bowen was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, and went on to play in the NFL for 5 seasons before a short stint in the CFL.

38. Nik Moser (2001-2005)

NCAA Football - Iowa vs Iowa State - September 10, 2005 Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

Nik Moser was one of those guys that could play almost anywhere on a defense. Not only was he a football standout, but he also ran on the Iowa State indoor track team in 2002. Moser would see time both at outside linebacker and his natural position of safety, but his biggest impact came in the secondary. After a brief stint at linebacker during his sophomore season, Moser made the permanent move back to safety for his junior campaign, where he led the Cyclone defense with 85 tackles, and was second on the team with three interceptions.

Nik would end his senior season with 56 tackles and another four interceptions. During his Cyclone career, he totaled 186 total tackles and picked off 7 passes. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in 2004 and 2005.

37. Alexander Robinson (2007-2010)

Nebraska v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Robinson was only the fifth Iowa State running back to reach more than 3,000 career rushing yards. His best season came during the 2009 Insight Bowl run, Robinson rushed for 1,195 yards and 6 touchdowns that year. In the bowl game, Robinson rushed for 137 yards on 22 carries, which earned him MVP honors for the game. We caught up with Alexander Robinson before the 2017 season to ask a few questions.

36. Ray Lima (2017-Present)

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Baylor Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Our second current Cyclone to make the list is the man holding down the middle on the defensive line, Ray Lima. While Lima’s stats aren’t going to jump out and wow an outsider of the program, his significance and talent is undeniable. Lima is the type of defensive talent that changes the game quietly, and we may not be able to fully recognize his impact on the defense until after he leaves. One of the biggest reasons for Iowa State’s defensive success over the last two seasons has been the ability of Ray to take on multiple blockers and allow the linebackers to roam freely and make big plays.

Top 50 Greatest Cyclone Football Players of All Time recap:


50. David Hoppmann

49. Jim Doran

48. Brent Curvey

47. Tim Dobbins

46. Jason Berryman


45. Mike Busch

44. Jack Trice

43. LaMarcus Hicks

42. Jaquan Bailey

41. Tom Randall