Local kids doing great

Ex-Linn-Mar standout Grant Mahoney leads all Big 12 Conference kickers in scoring through two games. He’s made five of six field goals and all 11 extra-point attempts.

Just as important have been his kickoffs, which ISU Coach Gene Chizik talked about today at his press conference.

“Grant has been really good. If I’d have said I want a freshman kicker to come in and here’s what I want him to do the first two games, I couldn’t draw it up any better,” Chizik said. “His kickoffs, his hang time, where he kicking… He’s giving our special teams a chance to go down and cover. I’m very pleased.”

Of course, Mahoney’s never performed outside of Jack Trice Stadium. That’ll come this week.

“Will he be rattled by (a road) environment? I don’t know. We’ll see Saturday. He’s a pretty solid guy.”

Cedar Rapids native and former Iowa City Regina standout Michael O’Connell also is making a splash in his first chance for playing time. In only two tries, O’Connell has eclipsed ISU’s total punt return yardage from a year ago (33) and nearly broke his only attempt last week for a score.

Opening week starter Devin McDowell didn’t play last week because of injury. Does he get his job back? O’Connell did nothing to lose the job, but who knows?

And Ben Lamaak has simply been a rock on the offensive line. 14 straight starts. He’s going to be a four-year starter barring injury. Can you believe the guy played QB at Kennedy and came here as a two-star tight end prospect?

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