Here’s how Iowa State’s offense will look — barring injury or other depth chart movement — for next Thursday night’s season opener with North Dakota State at Jack Trice Stadium:
TE-Collin Franklin, LT — Kelechi Osemele, LG — Alex Alvarez, C — Reggie Stephens, RG — Ben Lamaak, RT — Scott Haughton, QB — Austen Arnaud, RB — Alexander Robinson, WR — Marquis Hamilton, WR — Sedrick Johnson, WR — Darius Reynolds.
Breakdown: No real surprises here. Reynolds had a great camp and may have overtaken Darius Darks even if Darks wasn’t hobbled by a hamstring injury. Lots of receivers will get playing time, incluidng a couple of guys we haven’t seen much of to date in Jake Williams and Joel Zitek. Josh Lenz’ stock is soaring right now while that of RB Bo Williams and WR Houston Jones seem to be falling. Both are listed as third-stringers, according to Coach Paul Rhoads’ latest depth chart released Thursday.
Here’s a look at the defense, assuming the Cyclones come out in a traditional 4-3-4 alignment. Coaches have said they will play a lot of nickel this year, based on that week’s opponent.
DE — Rashawn Parker, DT — Austin Alburtis, NG — Nate Frere, DE — Chris Lyle, LB — Josh Raven, MLB — Jesse Smith, LB — Fred Garrin, CB — Leonard Johnson, CB — Kennard Banks, SS — David Sims, FS — James Smith.
Breakdown: Nothing much different than what we thought before training camp began. There will be a lot of rotating at the tackle spots to keep players fresh without a dominant force in the middle. Backups at corner — Devin McDowell and Ter’ran Benton — will come in as the fifth defensive back in passing situations. Freshmen linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott appear on the depth chart, but are most likely to see time on special teams. Another first-year guy, Jeremy Reeves, is listed at corner.
Specialists: K — Grant Mahoney, P Mike Brandtner
KOR/PR — The names are the same from the pre-camp tw0-deep, but Rhoads has said Reynolds and Lenz will be involved in the return game. Lenz is apparently the No. 1 guy on punts, while my guess is that Reynolds and Leonard Johnson will team up on kickoffs. Could be a pretty exciting group.