Even without the services of Jordan Carstens, Iowa State has been able to develop some nice depth along its interior defensive line. A major reason for that is its dedication to recruiting guards and tackles in the past few classes, and developing those kids.
After being his understudy the past two seasons while starting next to Carstens, Nick Leaders became the bonefide leader inside this spring. Curvey, meanwhile, proved he was capable of moving in side from defensive end to account for Carstens' loss. In watching the sophomore anchor the middle, Cyclone fans were reminded of former defensive lineman James Reed, because the two are similar in size and stature.
Defensive coordinator John Skladany has to be happy with the way his depth chart has filled out up front. Scherbring picked up some playing time as a true freshman, and proved he's ready to take on a bigger role in 2004 as Curvey's backup.
Coaches know what they'll get out of TeBrink, a veteran of the defensive line who has settled back into his former role after stints as an offensive lineman and tight end last season. TeBrink's big-game experience (remember Iowa City in 2002?) will benefit this group. Coaches also were pleased with what they got out of Andy Leaders this spring.
Although the Cyclones were pretty set on their two-deep throughout much of the spring, competition will heat up again this fall with the arrival of Dodd. The Iowa Central transfer gained big-time experience as a youngster after signing with Iowa out of high school.
Grades and immaturity forced him to transfer to Iowa Central, and ISU is hoping they're getting the new-and-improved Dodd. The JUCO transfer will likely jump in at defensive tackle and push Scherbring for immediate playing time this fall. The Cyclones also signed one high schooler in McGinty, but he is likely going to need a few years to develop in Ames.