Press Coverage: Week 1

The first week of the football season has arrived, and along with it has come an array of changes. Here's the latest on the happenings with Iowa State as Week 1 gets underway

Daley jumps on depth chart

Dondre Daley has emerged on Iowa State’s depth chart, signaling that the redshirt sophomore has now met expectations.

The 6-foot-1, 191-pound receiver appeared in all 12 games last season for the Cyclones in his first collegiate action, making 13 catches for 127 yards, with nine of the receptions and 86 yards coming in the final five games.

That production was supposed to carry to the spring, but Daley instead dealt with ankle injuries and fell to No. 3 on the fall camp depth chart. He’s back among the starters now, at No. 1 among the ‘Z’ receivers for Saturday’s season-opener.

“Dondre came into fall camp and has shown exactly what he would have showed this spring had he not sprained an ankle and missed so many practices,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “Dondre Daley has good body control, Dondre Daley can run, he’s got good length, he catches the ball and goes after it aggressively to catch it. [He] has really risen on a production standpoint.”

Daley marked the only change among the receiving corps on the team’s Week 1 depth chart as Jarvis West remains at the top at the team’s ‘F’ position and Quenton Bundrage will start at the ‘X’ spot.

Trio of returners could contribute

While the team’s kickoff return game is set with DeVondrick Nealy and Jarvis West, running back Aaron Wimberly could see time there, too.

Albert Gary (17) and Nealy (16) handled the bulk of the Cyclones’ kick returns last season, but a mixture of five other returners took in at least one kickoff. Wimberly came in at No. 3 with six.

“It’s nice to have an Aaron Wimberly being a [No.] 3 and having two guys that are just as dangerous,” Rhoads said. “Whether we rotate him in or just stick with that two will depend on how it goes.”

Richardson has taken a step forward

There was little time for Sam Richardson to fully show himself as he was injured quickly in last season’s opener against Northern Iowa before battling various injuries throughout the season.

In time, Richardson lost the quarterback spot to Grant Rohach and fell to No. 3 behind Joel Lanning this year before ultimately taking the job this fall. Assessing his abilities became difficult from there, Rhoads said, but he’s right where the Cyclones want him entering Saturday.

“Right now he’s healthy. Right now he’s stronger. Right now he’s smarter. Right now he’s older and more experienced because of that. Right now he’s in a great place from a poise and leadership standpoint,” Rhoads said. “I’m excited about Sam getting a chance to take the field and go out and play ball.”

Lalk at left guard, Severs No. 2 at center

When fall camp opened, Jamison Lalk was among the second group at center behind starter Tom Farniok. Come Saturday, he’ll start at left guard instead.

Iowa State has shifted Lalk to left guard because of his production during camp. Nick Severs will now move up a slot and act as Farniok’s backup.

“We got to a point where we realized we needed to start ranking our best five offensive linemen because of how things have jockeyed around position-wise to make sure we have our best five on the field,” Rhoads said. “Jamison emerged as one of our best five.”

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