The wide receiver position is the best. In every football movie the most preeminent character is almost always a wide receiver:
- Tweeder from Varsity Blues
- Rod Tidwell from Jerry McGuire
- Vince Papale in Invincible
- Deacon Moss from the Longest Yard
- Clifford Franklin from The Replacements
I could keep going, but the point is that downfield threats, across the middle guys and twenty and in target guys are always the most fun, entertaining and down right electric guys to watch on a Saturday.
Without further rambling, lets look at Iowa States 2019 wide outs.
It goes without saying that one person from a year ago will be particularly missed:
Aside from historically incredible edge blocker, Matt Eaton, Iowa State also lost some other guy that got drafted this last June. He was a pretty good downfield guy:
In all seriousness, Hakeem was an incredible deep threat a season ago who accounted for 60 receptions, 1300 yards and 9 touchdowns. Butler also averaged 22 yards a reception with a high on the season of 192 yards in his game against Washington State. Butler was (literally) a big role to fill this offseason for Matt Campbell, but never fear because...
Sean Shaw Jr.
The 6’6 redshirt freshman is currently in contention for the starting spot at the Z position, and should have ample opportunities to be a break out star offensively this season. Given his size and talent as a down field threat, he should look to be Purdy’s replacement for Hakeem as the long ball target. He was the #9 ranked wideout in Oklahoma from his class and as a freshman will be looked upon to help improve an Iowa State offense that ranked 7th in the league in passing offense.
Scates is a 6’3 wide out hailing from Dayton, Ohio that was #8 in his state and #44 in his class. The 180lb redshirt freshman is sitting in the #2 spot at the WR-X position and will be looking to break out by spelling starter Tarique Milton. Check out Scates’ highlights from his high school years below.
Leader of the Pack
The most veteran member of the receiving corp is coming back for his final season. Through three years, DeShaunte has been one of the most consistent and reliable members of the offense. In his three years, Jones has notched 108 receptions, 1,175 yards and a career total of 10 touchdowns. His junior year saw a return to form for DeShaunte after a dip in stats from his sophomore year. As far as the offense goes, he more than likely will be the top option for Purdy due to his veteran status on the team and consistent play from the slot. Although he won’t be the biggest target, Jones has been known for his elusiveness and break away speed with the ball in his hands. Watch for him to be a big part of the offense this season in helping to lead a lot of these younger guys.
Don’t Forget About
A sophomore who returned punts and played in 11 games a season ago as a redshirt freshman, Tarique had 34 receptions for a total of 417 yards with one touchdown coming against Oklahoma State. Milton returns as the leading yards-getter from last season among the listed starters for the 2019 season. Milton averaged 12 yards per reception and also had one rushing attempt for a grand total of 3 yards. For Purdy, Milton will probably look to fill the role that Hakeem played last season as his #1 option when looking deep. Even though Milton only stands 5’10 and may not be the stereotypical spread wide out, his consistency should reassure fans.
Landen Akers is currently slated to be the back up for DeShante in the flanker position for the Cyclones. Akers is returning from a second season in which he played in 9 games for a grand total of 10 receptions and 181 yards. Akers did see improvement in playing time from his freshman year (in which he only played in 5 games with 1 reception) and now looks to keep up his steady play.
Yeah, losing Hakeem is very sucky, but losing Lazard was sucky too and Iowa State managed to reload rather than having to rebuild. Anymore, the staff has done a great job of addressing the needs of the team and finding how to put the right guys in the right place for success (Lanning’s move to linebacker is the high note of this). It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see this quintet be one of, if not the most productive receiving groups in the Big 12. If history shows us anything, Milton is poised to be the big yardage guy while DeShaunte continues his career of doing the dirty work. Expectations will be high for this group as Purdy has the Maxwell in his eyesight and will look to gunsling more than Neo did in that lobby scene.
My personal hope is that the NCAA finally does away with the celebration rule because what I need in my life is Milton catching an 80 yard bomb and then doing the Rod Tidwell dance right in Baylor’s face.