Spring Football Wrapup (Part 1)

Iowa State wrapped up spring practice with Saturday's annual intrasquad game. Here is the first in a five-part series analyzing every Cyclone position coming out of the spring.

QUARTERBACK:

Overview: As expected, quarterback Bret Meyer picked up where he left off in the Independence Bowl. The rising sophomore improved his accuracy in a variety of passing situations, and even showed more as a rusher than last season. Coaches feel a little better about the depth behind Meyer after getting a long look at Terrance Highsmith and Kyle Van Winkle.

Strengths: It's easy to see that Meyer will become more of a dual threat quarterback this fall. Cyclone fans saw Meyer take off running on numerous occasions during the spring game, as he rushed for 63 yards on 13 carries. Meyer utilized a solid group of wideouts this spring, and he should flourish in the fall with the return of Todd Blythe and addition of freshman Marquis Hamilton.

Weaknesses: Highsmith and Van Winkle showed flashes of good play this spring, but not enough to ensure Austin Flynn will remain a wide receiver. Van Winkle's collarbone will cost him valuable throwing time this summer. Highsmith proved himself as a rusher, but needs more work improving his accuracy as a passer.

Rising players: No real notable ones. Nate Mechaelsen didn't factor into the three-deep at all. Expect true freshman Bryce Beck to be given a shot at the number two job in camp.

Lingering needs/Questions: More consistency throughout the depth chart. Meyer improved greatly in this area, but his backups need to show they can move the chains more frequently. The biggest question of the spring and fall…Can Meyer remain healthy?

RUNNING BACK:

Overview: Returning starter Stevie Hicks opened spring with a flurry but limped to the finish line somewhat with a turf toe injury. Hicks' absence provided more opportunities to backups Jason Scales, Greg Coleman, and David Brown. Offensive coaches have to feel much better about the two-deep here.

Strengths: The production of Hicks and Scales throughout all 15 practices. Even with Hicks limited, ISU's top two backs combined for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries in the spring game. Scales emerged as the Cyclones' best back in the red zone.

Weaknesses: ISU still lacks a home run hitter at the position. Although Scales put up good yardage and produced in crucial situations, he didn't show the burst in the spring game that made him one of the state's top high school running backs ever.

Rising players: Although he has been around for a while, fourth I-Back Brown looked good in the spring game. Competing against the Cyclone starters, he gained 24 yards on three carries for the White squad. He even switched jerseys and added a 12-yard carry for the Cardinal.

Lingering needs/Questions: ISU is still waiting for Coleman to put it all together and fulfill the promise he had as an Iowa City prep. Time could be running out for him, since Hicks, Scales, and the freshman tandem of Dominique Rocker and Jason Harris will be in the picture come fall.


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