The Cyclones opened preseason practice on Aug. 4. To get you ready for the season, AllCyclones.com will be gauging the depth at every position on the roster. In this installment, we're looking at the offensive guards.
Projected Starters: LG Oni Omoile, Jr., Coppell (TX); RG Daniel Burton, So., Oklahoma City (OK)
Projected Backups: LG Wendell Taiese, Jr., Laney CC (JUCO); RG Ryan Glenn, rFr., Waukee
Other Players: Jamison Lalk, Jr., Council Bluffs; Jacob Homa, rFr., Brookfield (WI); Will Windham, Fr., Schertz (TX)
The Leader: Daniel Burton
An eight-game starter in 2013, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Burton is a road-grader along the right side of the offensive line. Burton played some "quick tackle" in Chris Klenakis' scheme, which showed off his mobility and his ability to finish blocks. The Cyclones have a really good one for the next three seasons in Burton.
The Wildcard: Wendell Taiese
It wouldn't surprise anyone if Taiese supplanted Omoile as the starter at left guard. It might just be a matter of time. The JUCO transfer, a total "want" take rather than "need," has slimmed down a ton since he signed with the Cyclones at 357 pounds and is in much better shape because of it.
Wendell Taiese.He's still a big guy, though (and he's still listed at 357, though he's got to be closer to 33) and at 6-foot-5 could project to right tackle. Once he masters the system, a starting spot might be his.
The Future: Ryan Glenn
Seeing as Burton has three years of eligibility remaining, he's really "the future" of the offensive guard position, but we might as well use this space to touch on Glenn, who competed for a starting spot over the spring but will almost certainly be a role player this fall. The Waukee grad is a big, tough blocker. The way the two-deep shakes out, he'll likely be a two-year starter.
Iowa State signed what it believes to be a gem in Will Windham out of the San Antonio-area in 2014. Windham is a hulking country boy who doesn't need to add any weight at 320 pounds. Instead, the Cyclones can mold his body down to how they see fit. The Cyclones have a commitment from in-state interior lineman Bryce Meeker in 2015. Meeker projects at either guard or center.
Slot WR ($)