Big 12 Media Days are officially upon all of us, and with that, Iowa State has released the first look at what many in Cyclone Nation had hoped to get a glimpse of, their depth chart.
On the offensive side of the ball, offensive coordinator Tom Manning will be at the helm of an offense that ranked seventh over all in the conference a year ago and averaged 26 points per game. The only three teams Iowa State was ahead of were Kansas, TCU and K-State.
Manning will look to lead Maxwell Watch List stand out, Brock Purdy in his sophomore season under center. Purdy was sixth in the league a year ago in yards per game, averaging 225 yards and was third in pass efficiency among all quarterbacks in the Big 12.
Down in the trenches, the lauded Iowa State offensive line runs back four starters with sophomore Colin Newell as the center piece of the line snapping the ball to Brock. Surprisingly to most, this line has received a lot of praise this summer and could be one of the best offensive lines in the conference.
Flanking Brock will be senior Deshaunte Jones, sophomore Tarique Milton and 6’6 freshman Sean Shaw Jr. Coming back at the tight end position will be junior Chase Allen. For most, Allen is the piece that hopefully looks to get more red zone targets this season as he stands 6’7 and 245 lbs.
The back field for the Cyclones is the most abundant and talented running back corps it has been in a while. Listed at the #1 slot is senior Sheldon Crony Jr. but the two names everyone will have their eyes glued to are freshmen Breece Hall and Jirehl Brock. Brock and Hall have been praised all through spring workouts and the summer as stand outs and will hopefully have a big impact in improving on the Cyclones rushing offense which ranked 10th in the conference last season at 130 yards per game.
Over on the defensive side, Jon Heacock looks to run back a #2 ranked defense trailing only TCU. Iowa State had the second best passing defense and was ranked first in rushing defense, holding opponents to 115 yards per game.
The defensive line will run back a veteran corps with JaQuan Bailey and Ray Lima leading the charge. Also coming back are Jamahl Johnson and Enyi Uwazurike. Bailey and Lima both had big junior seasons and are hoping to run back successful seasons from last year.
In the second tier, Iowa State will have conference stand out Marcel Spears Jr, freshman Will McDonald, junior Greg Eisworth and a sophomore who a season ago as a freshman stood out among the best, Mike Rose. Three fourths of this trio, just a season ago, helped to lead the Clones to the best scoring defense in all the Big 12 and consistently held opponents to under all scoring averages.
Finally in the secondary, Iowa State trots out Anthony Johnson and Datrone Young running the corners while senior Braxton Lewis and junior Lawrence Wright will be responsible for the strong safety and free safety positions respectively.
Last but not least, beloved here at Wide Right Natty Light and by Cyclones twice the world over, Connor Assalley will handle all place kicking duties.
August 28th can’t come soon enough.