Who will fall into place after Meyer?

It's been a quiet spring and summer on the ISU quarterback front, Bret Meyer has cemented himself as the Cyclones' No. 1 signal caller; but there's still questions surrounding the position – who will fill the No. 2 and No. 3 slots.

"We don't have a solid two," said quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch. "Last year we said we have two guys who can play, so we had a little more depth. We have some concerns still and hopefully after these 29 practices we'll feel really good about our two and our three and are ready to go into the season."

 

After a strong showing in the spring game Terrance Highsmith will enter two-a-days as the No. 2. The former ISU wide receiver made the position move last spring, switching positions with former quarterback Austin Flynn.

 

Highsmith went home to New Jersey for a month over the summer, but said he spent the rest of time trying to adjust to his new role.

 

"I've just been working hard," Highsmith said. "Hitting the weights hard with Getty and just trying to learn more about my position."

 

So far Highsmith said the move has benefited both him and the team.

 

"I don't want to sound selfish but I think for the teams' sake it's been a great move," he said. "Austin had a productive spring at wide receiver and I had a productive spring at quarterback. I think the coaches saw it in the best interest of the team to the make the move."

 

Before coming to Iowa State last season, Highsmith showed his versatility as an athlete at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. There his athletic ability allowed him to play quarterback, punter, wide receiver and kickoff returner.

 

Highsmith enters two-a-days as Iowa State's No. 2 punt returner behind Ryan Baum.

 

"I'm open to do anything that the team needs me to do," Highsmith said. "If Coach Mac tells me to go sell sodas, that's what I'm going to do."

 

Entering the spring game Kyle Van Winkle was the Cyclones No. 2 quarterback. He sustained a broken collar bone in the spring game, but was back throwing full speed in the beginning of July.

 

"With T-High and Kyle, they spent a lot of time in the classroom by themselves watching tapes from the spring," Fitch said. "Just trying to get more comfortable so when they get out there this fall, they'll have that comfort level and more confidence."

 

As a redshirt freshman Meyer passed for 1,812 yards and racked up 2,257 total yards of offense. His total offense mark is good enough for sixth all time on Iowa State's single season list; while his passing yardage rank 10th – no freshman or sophomore was on the list prior to Meyer.

 

Over the summer Meyer has been working on his accuracy; he completed only 51.4 percent of his passes last season.

 

Fitch said Meyer and all the quarterbacks have been working hard on fundamental things, so when practice began they can focus more on the mental side of the game.

 

"[Meyer] spent a lot of time on his footwork, or we hope he did," Fitch said. "His mechanics, getting rid of the ball a little quicker and getting the ball to the wide receiver a little faster; so they can get a good run in after the catch."

 

As Meyer begins his sophomore season, he said he's grown into the leadership role.

 

"If they vote me a captain I'd accept that," he said.

 

Having the stability of Meyer might mean the Cyclones open up the play book a little bit more this season.

 

"The running game will always be important but I can see us being 60-40 or 65-35, something like that," said offensive coordinator Barney Cotton. "[Meyer's] a pretty good guy to have the ball in his hands. But you still have a real valuable runner in Stevie Hicks, which will allow us to open some things up."

 


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