Welcome to our 2022 position previews, where we will spend the last few weeks before kickoff going over each position group for the 2022 team, now that we have previewed the offense, it’s time for the defense. Today, it’s the cornerbacks.
Iowa State lost Kym-Mani King to the transfer portal (Florida A&M) and Datrone Young graduated, but the biggest departure is still in the program. Anthony Johnson, after starting the last four seasons at corner, switched to the STAR position this off-season.
Speaking of switching positions, let’s get to the new guys.
The New Guys
Darian Porter has been one of the biggest stories of the off-season, switching from wide receiver to corner this spring. For those who don’t know, Porter stands at 6 feet 4 inches. He is also a speed demon, running a 46.99 400 his senior year of high school. Kid goes rabbit hunting with a hammer he’s so fast. His transition to corner has been “seamless,” as his newest challenge is learning a defense from a new perspective. Porter spent his last two seasons on the special teams, to which he credits helping him tackle and track down ball carriers. He’ll find himself in the mix right away this season.
Myles Norwood is fresh off his freshman season at Iowa Western, where he was a member of the track and field team as well as the football team. He took a redshirt in 2021 with hopes of finding a home at a Power 5 school after COVID-19 altered his course straight out of high school. Norwood chose the Cyclones over Alabama after his recruitment really picked up late this spring and into summer. He might not start, but I fully expect him to see the field throughout the season. Check out his highlights here.
Terrell Crosby Jr. is an incoming freshman from St. Petersburg, Florida. Crosby Jr. was voted the best two-way player of the year in the state of Florida his senior year. He was First Team All-State in Florida as well. One thing worth noting about Crosby is that he played all three phases of the game while in high school. He is destined to find his way on the field and make some big plays for the Cyclones. Might not be this year, but he has a bright future. His highlights are very fun to watch.
Jontez Williams is another freshman, coming out of Starke, Florida. The three-star recruit played defensive back, running back, and quarterback while also being a return man throughout high school. Notice a trend here? Campbell and co. love going after the athletes and Williams is a perfect example of that. He played a lot of safety in high school, but has made the transition to corner at Iowa State. Check out his highlights from a year ago.
Coach Matt Caponi has spoken highly about all of these guys, saying that each brings a different strength to the table.
By the way, those last two guys were born in 2004. Do what you want with that information.
Leader of The Pack
Tayvonn Kyle has the most experience of anyone in the CB room. He put together a pair of Honorable Mention All-Big 12 seasons in 2019 and 2020. He had a quiet but solid season a year ago and is going to be the number one corner at the start of this season. He has shown great potential in the past, but now it’s his time to shine.
Here’s the deal. Iowa State is probably going to run with the set of Myles Purchase, TJ Tampa, Darian Porter, and Tayvonn Kyle for the majority of the season. Whoever doesn’t start will see the field almost just as much as the starters. Myles Purchase and TJ Tampa both saw time on the field in 2021 and are some of the best athletes on the team. We know what we’ll get out of those two and everyone is excited to see those two take the field. The three aforementioned freshmen are going to be in the mix, but not as heavy as these four guys.
Iowa State has had a pair of First Team All-Big 12’ers in the last 6 seasons between D’Andre Payne (who is a current coaching staff member) and Anthony Johnson. The biggest question mark on the team might be the corners, just because we haven’t seen much from them. Tayvonn Kyle is going to be looked at as the dude as he’s in his redshirt senior season. It’s no secret this group has a lot of great athletes and the coaching staff is really excited to see some new faces make some plays. That being said, the inexperience could be a factor early that will need to get fixed ASAP as possible. I think that would be the only thing holding the corners back, otherwise, this unit could shock some people and raise some eyebrows this season.