Preseason FB Camp Report 8/12/04

<b>AMES, IA --</b> For Cyclone fans who were concerned about Iowa State's secondary throughout spring football, Wednesday's training camp update is an encouraging one. Head coach Dan McCarney shared some positive news on the development of three two-year transfers in the secondary.

"The three junior-college defensive backs are starting to really get a grasp of things," said McCarney, referring to newcomers Josh Hargis, Jerry Gair, and LaMarcus Hicks. "It's all new to them. Even though they're two years further along in physical and mental maturity, it's still all brand new to them. But they're starting to grasp it and have done a good job."

ISU went through its final day of half-pack workouts before Friday's opening to padded practice. McCarney said his team will begin its series of two-a-days Saturday, before participating in a partial scrimmage on Saturday.

"We're still in the middle of a lot of installation," he said. "It's only our fourth practice, so it's not like we're back reviewing on everything. We're throwing everything at them as fast as we can. It was a real competitive practice. We worked on kickoff, kickoff return, and drill work in our kicking game. We got in some team pass tonight, in addition to the other things we always do."

JUCO transfer Terrance Highsmith continues to get reps at quarterback, spicing up a preseason battle that includes Bret Meyer and Austin Flynn. ISU's head coach indicated a decision was still pending on a starter, and on what to do with Highsmith.

"The competition moves on," McCarney said. "It was another day to evaluate. We're going to continue looking at those guys. We're still considering Terrance Highsmith, too. We haven't made a final decision yet on whether he's going to quarterback or wide receiver."

A newcomer that didn't receive much publicity on media day is Tony Johnson, and for good reason. The true freshman was not a member of ISU's 2004 football signing class, and instead signed on to wrestle for Bobby Douglas.

The Ohio native has joined the Cyclone football team for training camp, and appears to be making an immediate impact on offense.

"I like Tony Johnson, our big fullback that came in here with Bobby Douglas on the wrestling team," McCarney said. "He's doing some good things and we've got to continue to evaluate him. He's a 290-pound fullback and we'll peel a little bit of weight off him, but he's not a fat slob."

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