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Players to Watch: SEMO

Let’s Get it Started

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Iowa State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State

I’m calling an audible here in week 1. With what feels like a ‘new team’ on the Iowa State sidelines, I’ve decided to do four Iowa State players instead of two from each team. So, if you’re one of the dozens of SEMO Redhawk fans, my feelings won’t be hurt if you close out now.

Offense Brock Purdy, in my mind, is the best Cyclone Quarterback of all time. No way around it, and this Saturday, a new era begins, with Hunter Dekkers. The home-grown product put up video game numbers in high school torching every 2A high school defense he faced. What has some Cyclone fans excited about the new guy; Dekkers has a cannon on him. Brock Purdy was deadly accurate, but he didn’t have a reliable deep ball to hurl to a speedster down the sidelines. Dekkers is kind of an inverse of that. He’s got a cannon, it’s just if that cannon can be pointed in the right direction.

SEMO’s secondary, I’m assuming, isn’t quite on the Big 12 level. Let’s hope Dekkers can get his footing under him this weekend before he gets a warm welcome from the Hawkeye faithful.

Defense Sorry if you listened to the Litecast, because I’m basically rinse and repeating for these first two picks. Anthony Johnson Jr. deciding to come back for one more year turned a decimated secondary into a slight less decimated secondary in terms of departure. Even more compelling, Johnson Jr. will be featured in a new position. The four-year corner is transitioning into a safety. A move that not many expected, but I’m very excited to see what Johnson Jr. does with the opportunity.

NCAA Football: Cheez-It Bowl-Clemson at Iowa State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Offense ‘X gon give it to ya’ -DMX

Xavier Hutchinson is probably the most recognizable name returning to the Cyclone offense. Hutchinson will undoubtably a huge help for Dekker’s first year as a QB. It reminds me a little of the Brock Purdy/Hakeem Butler synergy. Hutch and Butler aren’t similar as far as their strengths go, but an S-Tier target for a newbie QB is always a good thing to have.

Expect a lot of “Dekkers throws it downfield to Hutchinson” from John Walter on 100.3 FM this football season. I expect nothing less in week 1.

Defense A sneaky one here, Isaiah Lee. Honored with the 58 jersey this year, Lee is being asked to be the noseguard in Heacock’s 3-3-6 scheme. The NG is of utmost importance in this scheme. I expect Will McDonald to get a lot of double teams on pass protection, but Lee will be getting a lot of attention in the running game. Iowa State needs a big season out of Lee to keep Heacock’s revolutionary defense running smooth.