Preseason FB Camp Report 8/15/04

The first two-a-day and full-squad scrimmage for Iowa State this weekend is affording head coach Dan McCarney the opportunity to make more evaluations about his team. That includes a group of newcomers that is making the instant impact he was hoping for.

Among the stars of last weekend included JUCO linebacker Tim Dobbins, who will stay at his original position and not move to the defensive front. Just how much of an impression has Dobbins made? McCarney went so far as to say Dobbins could make his first career start in the season opener against Northern Iowa.

"There is no doubt Dobbins is going to play, and he could be a starter," said McCarney. "Based on what I've seen in the first week, there isn't any doubt he's going to help our football team. He's at linebacker all the way. We talked about putting him with his hand down, but he will definitely be a linebacker here at Iowa State."

While the play of Iowa State's three JUCO defensive backs has been well-chronicled throughout the first week of preseason camp, one player who hasn't gotten much press is freshman running back Greg Coleman. The Iowa City West product has put himself in front of a pack of freshman backs that includes Webster Patrick, Tyease Thompson, and Brandon Gunn. Coleman's emergence should, at least for the short term, end speculation that he could be moved to fullback or linebacker.

"I don't think there is any doubt Greg Coleman is going to help our football team," McCarney said. "He's very much in the mix at running back. He's 233 pounds and he's fast, physical, tough, and just a quality football player. We knew that and so did Iowa. Both schools recruited the heck out of him, and we're glad we got him here.

"I don't think there's any question he's going to help our team right away. It's only week and we're not making game-time decisions as we speak. But it looks like he clearly has the edge on the other backs, as far as having a chance to play this year."

Coaches have no regrets about one position they did make, however. Fabian Dodd played on the interior defensive line throughout collegiate stops at Iowa and Iowa Central, but his switch to the offensive side of the ball has been a good one. Dodd's main obstacle in winning a starting job continues to be returning backup Kory Pence.

"I think Fabian Dodd's move to offensive guard was a good one," McCarney said. "He has a long ways to go, but he looks like he's going to help our football team. We're taking a look at a few guys in there now, and nobody is really emerging yet. It's a work in progress."

Sophomore DeAndre Jackson was one of several newcomers to hit the field last season, and that experience has helped him remain ahead of his JUCO competitors.

"DeAndre has a little bit of an edge through the first week, but we've got another week of camp and then we have two weeks of preparation before UNI," McCarney said. "But I've seen in the first week that Hargis, Hicks, and Gair are all going to play this year. They will all play on special teams and should help our secondary, too."

On the quarterback front, neither Bret Meyer nor Austin Flynn have a decisive edge to be the starter for UNI.

"It's dead even," McCarney said. "Both of them are doing some darn good things and improving over the spring, but it's dead even. There is definitely not a starter and we're not about to name one right now. The competition is too close."

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