Saturday Night Standouts

On a hot and humid Saturday night, some future Iowa Staters shined in the Shriners North/South All-Star game at Jack Trice Stadium. Cyclone fans in attendance caught a glimpse of a couple signees who should contribute in the very near future for Iowa State. In all, there were eight players who will be competing for a chance to be a part of this new era in Cyclone Football.

 

James Smith, from Council Bluffs, may not look big on paper but at 5-foot-8, 183 pounds, he was much stronger then anticipated. Everyone who came to watch him should feel good about his performance in this All-Star setting. James started at RB for the South team and made an instant impact.

 

Before the first quarter ended James had tallied 40 yards on five carries. After sitting the second quarter James did return in the third, but struggled to regain his early form; he finished the game with 13 carries for 48 yards.

 

"The offensive line was in a rhythm in the first quarter," Smith said. "It was tough to sit and come back and try to regain that rhythm."

 

James had a very impressive five yard run, where he brushed off five tacklers before being brought down by his face mask.

 

"I've been working out with Brett Myer and Todd Blythe over the summer and it's really helped in learning what it will take to play at the next level," Smith said. "Officially, high school is over and now its time to step it up to have a chance to contribute."

 

With his personality, muscular build, and his style of play James really reminded both of us of Ellis Hobbs.

 

Levi Kanwischer, a wide receiver from Urbandale shinned in the first quarter as well. Kanwischer, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, made some beautiful catches over the middle and ended his first quarter duties with a pretty 29 yard touchdown grab. His first quarter line read three catches for 64 yards and one touchdown.

 

Levi also struggled with the rotation as he dropped a couple balls late in the game.

 

"It was a great feeling to have such a good start but I felt bad not getting a couple of those balls in the second half," he said. "I'm looking forward to being given a great chance to play for Iowa State and feel it's an honor to be here. I've always dreamed about playing Division I football and I hope I can keep getting stronger and better the next four or five years here."

 

Levi runs great routes and does an exceptional job of catching the ball with his hands. He has all the physical attributes to be an outstanding wide out at the Division I level.

 

Justin Gross, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn HS, also had a great night as he awarded the Defensive MVP award for the North. The 6-foot-4, 240 pound defensive end finished with five total tackles and two tackles for loss.

 

As a player that will be attending Iowa State as a walk-on, he really exceeded are expectations. He doesn't have great speed but does have good strength. We could see Coach Getty getting a hold of him and turning him into a contributor down the road.

 

Other players that are coming to Iowa State this fall as walk-ons are: Logan McGee, Tyson Unkrich, Matt Berg, Jake Leazer, and Mike Knapp.

 

Logan McGee, from Chariton High School, is a 5-foot-11, 175 pound WR. Logan showed good hands in catching eight passes for 42 yards, mostly swing passes out of a flanker position. He didn't show enough speed to get the corner, but did show that he had the toughness to earn a spot on the field some where.

 

Tyson Unkrich, a quarterback from Mt. Pleasant, played back-up for the South and ended up 7-of-13 for 50 yards, mostly to McGee in the form of swing passes. He never got a chance to throw the ball deep as he was mainly throwing the short routes. Hard to tell if his future is at QB or if he will be asked to change his position.

 

Matt Berg (6-foot-4, 250 pounds Aurelia HS), Jake Leazer (6-foot-3 265 pounds Fairfield HS), and Mike Knapp (6-foot-4 255 pounds WDM Valley) all played solid on the offensive line, but their size would indicate that may not be there positions at Iowa State. Berg has a great body and we had heard about him as defensive end. However, he never played defense during the game so it was hard to judge whether he will make a position switch or not.

 

Non-ISU players that impressed

 

Travis Rhone, a running back from Cedar Rapids Washington, showed excellent vision and ability as he danced his way to three rushing touchdowns and the Offensive MVP award for the North.

 

Kicker Nathan Rausa from Waterloo Columbus kicked an impressive 50 yard field goal. Mark and I want to know why it is always the opposing players kicking the impressive field goals at Jack Trice?

 

Pat Angerer, as much as we hate to say it, did look good making 13 tackles and winning the defensive MVP award for the South. However, his Iowa counterpart Alex Kanellis looked very unimpressive. His bone head personal foul penalty on a late hit would have made Matt "The Late Hit King" Roth very proud.


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