Looking back at last year was the year of the Blythe, Todd that is. His nine touchdown receptions already has him tied with Luther Blue (74-76) for 10th on the all-time career leader list with Ed Williams (94-97) & Keith Krepfle's (71-73) 15 TD grabs. The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore, Blythe will certainly draw many double teams which should create opportunities for the rest of the talented crew.
When you stand side by side with
Todd, and look up, as most of us do, you wonder if
We've all known that the Cyclones have had many special running backs, but this years receivers as a whole seemed determined to make their mark in the history books.
Austin Flynn (6-foot-1, redshirt junior) said that the biggest thing he has had to work on is blocking.
"It's a challenge to know the assignments but instead of getting hit all the time, I like the opportunity to make a key block to free someone for a touchdown," Flynn said.
Flynn told me that he looks forward to going up against his roommate, Matt Robertson in practice.
"Now he can hit me," Flynn said. "[He] was not able to do so with me wearing a grey jersey last year. I may have to throw one on when the coaches aren't watching."
Ryan Baum [5-foot-10, redshirt
junior] hopes that he can take what he learned from Todd Miller and Lane
Danielsen and be the go-to-guy on third downs. Baum has also been working on
punt returns; his speed and being the stinger on kick coverage lead him to this
opportunity. He too pointed to the
This next receiver is one who I look at being the playmaker this year. Jon Davis [6-foot-4, redshirt junior] should have many one-on-one opportunities to exploit the defenses with them worrying about Blythe.
Jon told me that he has worked
harder on his consistency as he realized he dropped too many balls last year. He
feels improvements from last year have been his strength and understanding the
blocking schemes. Jon loves playing on grass and wears gloves in cold weather
because it's hard to feel your fingers when catching in the cold. The
Milan Moses [6-foot-1, redshirt
sophomore] was really happy to speak with the media and showed his excitement
for the upcoming season. He just wants to contribute any way he can. He has
gained weight and strength during the off-season so his blocking will be
effective. He too wears gloves and doesn't think there is much difference in
natural grass vs. turf.
RJ Sumrall [6-foot-1] is a redshirt that right now is listed as Blythe's backup. His upper body strength is noticeable as you approach. He is not as tall as the starters but will definitely make up for it in his strength and speed. He told me that studying game film, learning blocking schemes and just staying focused are things that he has worked on since last year. RJ wears gloves and feels there is no difference between a good quality grass field and artificial turf. He would like to stay away from Dobbins over the middle as "Tim is tough, very fast and can hit."
One other player I caught up with
was Euseph Messiah [5-foot-10] from
There are a couple of newcomers
who have an outside shot of seeing playing time this year at the wide-out
position. One is Levi Kanwischer [6-foot-1, freshman] from
Other roster players are Nick Campbell [6-foot-2, redshirt junior] from Marion, Matt Scribbins [6-foot-4,
As Terrance Highsmith told me, "All of our receivers have unique abilities. Jon Davis with his curl routes, Blythe with his fades, Mi Mo [Milan Moses] with the underneath dumps; RJ [Sumrall] with his precise routes and Flynn on his ability to just get open. It's not just one style of receiving corps that's out there. All are tough to cover and bring trouble for defenses to contain."
I couldn't say it better myself. Oh to be a quarterback for your Iowa State Cyclones. If there's a stock market in receivers, I'd invest.