This is it! The last football game in Jack Trice Stadium for the 2023 Iowa State Cyclones. And with the last game of the season tomorrow night, I thought we should stop and thank the seniors one last time for their hard work, determination, dedication, and support of not only Iowa State football and the athletics department but the memories along the way.
Ben started his career at NAIA McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas as a wide receiver. Between 2018 and 2020, he accumulated 107 receptions, 1,570 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns and five tackles.
In 2021, he transferred to Iowa State and redshirted that year while being a walk-on. In 2022 with a year under his belt at Iowa State, Ben played in all 12 games as a special teams standout and recorded three tackles on the season.
So far this season, Ben has 31 total tackles (one tackle-for-loss), and three pass deflections as an additional defensive back for a very veteran and experienced group.
From Bettendorf, Iowa, Darien Porter was a top-ranked wide receiver in the 2019 freshman class. In 2019, Darien played in three games with no stats recorded before redshirting. In 2020, Darien recorded one reception and five tackles while on special teams. In 2021, Darien was a key contributor on special teams again recording three tackles and one return for eight yards. Last year, Darien made the official switch to defensive back and played in all 12 games. He recorded 15 tackles, one pass deflection, and one quarterback hurry. On special teams, he recorded a blocked kick and a punt return for 22 yards.
This year, Darien has five tackles, three pass deflections, and a blocked punt. He has still shown his playmaking on special teams this year and is a solid rotation defensive back.
The converted wide receiver to defensive back for St. Petersburg, Florida has a unique history. If it wasn’t for Iowa weather, T.J. may not have been a defensive back at all in college. Fortunately for us, the weather kept him around to participate in a defensive camp that allowed him to do drills.
In 2020, T.J. Tampa played in nine games on special teams as well as a rotational defensive back recording five tackles (one tackle-for-loss). For the 2021 season, he played in all 13 games where towards the end of the season he earned himself five starts accumulating 18 tackles and three pass deflections. 2022 saw T.J. Tampa become “Air Tampa.” He completed the year with 39 tackles (five tackles-for-loss), one interception, and nine pass deflections, along with the memorable forced fumble to set up the game-winning 99-yard drive against Iowa.
This season, he has put up 33 tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections while getting media attention on being a NFL draft target.
Gerry is a sixth-year senior from Atlanta, Georgia, having both redshirted (2018) and using the COVID year per NCAA rules. He has made either first or second team on the Academic All-Big 12 rosters while getting major playing time on special teams in 2019 and 2020 until seeing increased time at linebacker in 2021. He is also the 2023 recipient of the Nick Bassett Perseverance Award which recognizes two players at the end of spring practice for their positive spirit, perseverance, and selflessness.
Gerry currently has 60 games played, 174 tackles, 11 for-a-loss, three sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
The Newark, Ohio native and versatile offensive lineman has earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is currently working on his master’s in political science. In 2019, he redshirted and slowly got playing time in 2020 with three games as a rotation player until finally starting the final eight games in the 2021 season at left tackle. In 2022, he started all 12 games with 10 being at left guard and moving back to left tackle for the final two games of the season.
Jarrod has earned Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2020 and 2022 while also being named on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for both Spring and Fall semesters in 2022.
From Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, Jake redshirted his freshman year in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, he played on both special teams and as part of a rotational lineman that helped break Iowa State offensive records. The 2022 season started slow for him, being sidelined with an injury during pre-season fall camp. He was still able to start six games at right tackle.
Jarrod was the other recipient of the Nick Bassett Perseverance Award which showed well due to the gambling probe that Iowa and Iowa State Athletic Departments went through. He received a six-game ban for NCAA gambling violations and since has made his return to the offensive line to try and finish out his career on a high.
Darrell Simmons Jr.
Darrell was rated a top-35 recruit in the state of Illinois where he helped lead East Saint Louis HS to the 7A state quarterfinals. Like the other offensive linemen, Darrell redshirted his 2019 season. In 2020, he started 11 games at right guard and was named Second Team Freshman All-American by The Athletic. He also was nominated as an honorable Mention All-Big 12. 2021 and 2022 saw him start in 24 games at right guard.
He has been a key rotational lineman under new offensive line coach Ryan Clanton playing in all 10 games.
Grant came to Iowa State as the number two overall recruit out of the state of South Dakota for the 2019 class. He picked Iowa State over Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State. He redshirted his 2019 season and was a Second Team Academic All-Big-12 player in 2020. Last season he played in all 12 games with seven starts at right tackle.
He has played in seven games this season and is working on graduating with a mechanical engineering degree.
Levi Hummel has Cyclone DNA in him since birth. His father, Perry, was a three-time All-American wrestler at Iowa State from 1979-1982. The Des Moines, Iowa and Dowling graduate is the younger brother to LA Rams linebacker Jake Hummel.
He has been a member of the special teams since 2021 and has accumulated seven total tackles. He was also named a part of the Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team in 2020 as well as making the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in the fall semester of 2021 and spring semester of 2023.
Dimitri started his career in his home state of Colorado. He was the top player in Colorado in his class and redshirted his freshman year in 2018. Between 2019 and 2021, Dimitri had 70 receptions, 820 yards, and four touchdowns before transferring to Iowa State for his senior season. In 2022, he started in seven out of eleven games accumulating 33 receptions, 420 yards, but no touchdowns.
He returned for his sixth year of eligibility and has recorded 14 receptions for 126 yards. He is also currently working on his master’s degree in apparel, merchandise and design.
From Oswego, Kansas, Easton Dean was a top-10 player in the state as a quarterback. He chose Iowa State over in-state schools Kansas and Kansas State. He redshirted his 2019 season while making the position swap to tight end. In 2020 and 2021, he was primarily used in special teams while recording two receptions for a total of 43 yards. In 2022, he started six games at tight end and played in all 12 having 10 receptions, 129 yards, and two touchdowns.
So far this season, Easton has played in all 10 games recording 14 receptions, 90 yards, and one touchdown as well as being part of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in Spring 2023 while studying Industrial Technology.
Chase transferred to Iowa State after being at Iowa Western CC and Nebraska. At Iowa Western, Chase make 15-out-of-18 field goals and 44-out-of-46 extra points. He totaled 89 points of offense for the Reivers. In 2020, he transferred to Nebraska but did not play in that season. In 2021, Chase kicked in the final four games where he was 11-out-of-11 in extra points, and 2-out-of-4 in field goals.
This season, Chase has gone 18-out-of-22 with a long of 56 yards, and a perfect 27-out-of-27 on extra points. He also has one rushing attempt for six yards that came on a 4th down conversion during the Iowa State at Cincinnati game that ended on a first down.