Syria sidelined for spring ball
Already with a young and inexperienced backfield for the 2015 season, Iowa State’s spring depth at running back has taken another hit.
With a running back trio that combined for only 44 carries in 2014, the progression of the group will be stalled this spring as sophomore Martinez Syria will be sidelined for the remainder of the spring after sustaining a neck injury.
“He got his neck jammed again,” coach Paul Rhoads said Thursday as spring ball winds down. “He’s got some tingling going on with his body and the neurologist wants to lay him low for the rest of the spring.”
The latest injury to Syria, which is his second injury since his arrival, will halt his progression and leaves Iowa State with depth questions as the spring progresses into a critical offseason for this team. The latest injury has Rhoads placing added attention on the running backs who will arrive in Ames this summer.
“We’re limited and I’m concerned with that depth,” Rhoads said. “There’s no question the two high school players that are coming in, we’re going to give them an opportunity to show up and see if they belong on the field. Tyler and Mike are giving us a lot of workload right now.”
Lynn transitioning from cornerback to receiver
Kenneth Lynn asked for a position change, and Iowa State coaches granted it, as the redshirt senior moved from cornerback to receiver last week.
The move may come as a surprise as Lynn was listed as Iowa State’s No. 1 left cornerback on the spring depth chart, but with strong play from a number of corners this spring and room for reps at receiver, Lynn recently made the request.
“We’re pleased with the way our corners are playing and we’ve just got so many holes with injuries right now, having a fast body out there is good to have,” Rhoads said. “Ken requested the move and we were in favor of it as a staff, so he’s out there running routes with the offense.”
Rhoads noted that cornerbacks Nigel Tribune, Sam Richardson, Jomal Wiltz, Brian Peavy and De’Monte Ruth have made positive impressions this spring. That allowed the coaching staff to feel comfortable with Lynn’s request.
Lynn has appeared in 28 games in his first three seasons at Iowa State, logging three starts at cornerback last season for the Cyclones. He has 40 career tackles and 12 pass breakups.
“I think the overall cornerback position playing well [sparked it],” Rhoads said. “The window of opportunity right now as a receiver to get some reps and maybe show up to the coaches [is another reason].”
The receiver position has some opportunities currently with D’Vario Montgomery and Dondre Daley sidelined for the spring, Quenton Bundrage limited in practice and Orion Salters dealing with an unspecified injury in recent weeks.
“He looks good as a route-runner,” Rhoads said in regard to his initial impression of Lynn at receiver. “Hasn’t looked as good as a ball-catcher.”
Depth chart sees slight alterations
The depth chart released at the onset of spring practices was very much tentative, but that doesn’t mean changes aren’t worth highlighting.
Rhoads said Thursday that Jarnor “Jay” Jones is currently practicing ahead of Reggan Northrup at the nickel position, Demond Tucker is now practicing with the No. 1 unit as the top nose guard and Jordan Harris has moved up with the No. 1 group at the middle linebacker position. None of the changes come as major surprises as all three players were expected to make an impression this spring.