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The 50 Greatest Cyclone Football Players of All Time: 45-41

JaQuan Bailey is our first current player to crack the list

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Alamo Bowl - Iowa State v Washington State Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re now on to the second wave of our 50 Greatest Cyclone Football Players of All Time. This week, we unveil spots 45-41, which include one current Cyclone that is on pace to move far up this list as his career comes to a close this upcoming season.Without further hesitation, here are spots 45-41.

45. Mike Busch, Tight End (1986-1989)

Iowa State Athletics Communications

Mike Busch, a one-time guaranteed player for Iowa, came to Iowa State after a coach from there rescinded his scholarship so he could “prove himself” after one year. The Donahue native followed his brother, an engineer, to Ames, and had a prolific career on both the gridiron and the diamond after recording his first career touchdown in a 36-14 harvesting of Wichita State.

During his Cyclone career, Busch amassed 1,061 total yards on 78 receptions (second-best in school history for a tight end). He was named First Team All-Big Eight in 1989 (AP, UPI and Coaches), and recorded his single-season highs of 375 yards on 23 receptions. Busch was named as a 1989 East-West Shrine Game participant alongside Keith Sims (Jim Walden was an assistant coach for West as well), where he caught four passes for 75 yards in West’s 22-21 victory. Busch was a 1989 Ricoh Japan Bowl participant, and was named Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year in 1990. Iowa State would induct him into their Hall of Fame in 2000.

44. Jack Trice, Defensive Line (1923)

Iowa State Athletics Communications

While we can’t discount the importance of Jack Trice and what he means to Iowa State football, we’re basing this list primarily on the player’s on-field accomplishments and talent. While we may never know the true talents of Jack Trice, his sheer importance to the history and tradition of Iowa State football is enough to find himself inside the top-50 list.

In 1984, Iowa State named the stadium Cyclone Stadium, while the playing field was named Jack Trice Field. At the time, the student body was wanting more to honor Jack Trice, so they raised money to create his iconic statue in 1987. After pressure had mounted from the students and fans for the university to do more to honor Trice, the football stadium was officially named Jack Trice Stadium in 1997. To this day, it’s still the only stadium in major college football to be named after a black person.

43. LaMarcus Hicks, Defensive Back (2004-2005)

NCAA Football - Iowa vs Iowa State - September 10, 2005
Defensive back LaMarcus Hicks of the Iowa State Cyclones scores a touchdown on a 28 yard interception return during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames Iowa on Sept. 10, 2005. Iowa State won 23-3.
Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

LaMarcus Hicks was one of the most dynamic secondary players to play under Dan McCarney during his time as Iowa State’s head coach. Hicks played for two seasons at Iowa State, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2005 while leading the conference in interceptions and being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week twice. One of his most memorable plays was during the 2005 Cy-Hawk game, where he returned an interception for a touchdown to help Iowa State knock off #8 Iowa, 23-3.

During his Iowa State career, Hicks intercepted five passes while making a total of 94 tackles. Hicks would go on to the NFL to play two seasons with the Detroit Lions. Currently, Hicks is an Assistant Coach for Bowling Green where he coaches the secondary.

42. JaQuan Bailey, Defensive End (2016-Present)

Akron v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

JaQuan Bailey is our first current Cyclone to crack the top-50 list. He’s set to become Iowa State’s all time sack leader this coming season, and will most certainly end his career as one of the best defensive line players Iowa State has ever seen. As it stands today, Bailey is tied for first with Shawn Moorehead with 18.5 sacks, and broke Iowa State’s single-season sack record last season with nine total sacks.

Each year, we’ve seen the sack totals for Bailey climb, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see that continue in 2019. Bailey has been instrumental in propelling Iowa State to be one of the best defenses in all of college football, and has one more season to move up this list and cement himself as one of the greatest Cyclone defensive players of all time.

41. Tom Randall, Defensive Tackle 1974-1977

The Mason City native was a special piece in the puzzle of bringing Iowa State to national relevancy in the mid-1970s. The “most consistent lineman” of the 1977 Peach Bowl-bound Cyclones was also a captain, and benched a team-high 425 lbs. He was selected to two postseason games, the 1978 Hula Bowl and 1978 Japan Bowl.

He led the 1977 Cyclones with 119 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss for 48 yards.

We couldn’t find any stats from his Japan Bowl appearance, but he did recover a fumble for West in a 44-22 victory in the Hula Bowl.

Randall was selected in the seventh round of the 1978 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, and would appear on the sidelines of Super Bowl XIII.

Iowa State inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2011.

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