AMES — Let’s start with the good news…
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said Wednesday that five players who sought medical hardship waivers from the NCAA will gain back that season of eligibility.
The list includes defensive end Rashawn Parker, receiver Darius Reynolds, defensive back Earl Brooks, linebacker Matt Taufoou and offensive lineman Hayworth Hicks.
“From what I understand everybody’s been approved,” Rhoads said.
Parker and Reynolds are the biggies. ISU’s young and undersized defensive line will welcome Parker, a senior last season who blew out his knee in the Army game, with open arms.
Reynolds broke a bone in his leg after just three games and needed surgery. He participated in bowl practices and will be at full strength when spring ball starts up next month.
The bad news, for ISU at least…
Defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Ash has joined the staff at Wisconsin, leaving a significant hole for Rhoads to fill.
Ash spent eight of the last 10 years coaching at ISU, knew the program inside and out and was able to use that to his advantage on the recruiting trail. The guy was a pretty good coach, too.
“He brings great knowledge and tremendous experience,” Badgers coach Bret Bielema said. “I’ve known Chris for a long time and his familiarity not only with our staff but with our schemes will help in what I think will be a seamless transition for him and the rest of our coaches.”
Ash, who coached at San Diego State in between stints at ISU, joins former Drake colleague Dave Doeren and Charlie Partridge in Madison. The Ottumwa native will again coach defensive backs.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work at a wonderful university like Wisconsin and with a football program with such a great history of success,” Ash said.
Don’t underestimate the impact this move could have on the Cyclones.
Now, for some news that could either be good or bad…
The aforementioned Hicks and receiver Jason Carlson have been suspended from school for academic reasons and will need to re-enroll following the spring semester.
Hicks has been only a special teams guy so far. Carlson hasn’t hardly been on the field in his two seasons since transferring from North Dakota College of Sciences.
Hicks will be a junior and Carlson a senior.
“I fully expect Hayworth back,” Rhoads said. “I don’t know what Jason’s intentions are.”