Stephenson sees success early as a Cyclone

Scott Stephenson was ready for a change. After signing with Minnesota out of high school and playing two seasons for the Gophers, Stephenson left Minnesota with no other college in sight.

 

"It came down to playing time issues," Stephenson said. "I felt I wasn't being utilized. I figured if they're not going to use me, why stick around when I could go somewhere else and start."

 

After a stellar high school career at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., Stephenson wasn't recruited by Iowa State. He was ranked the eighth-best defensive linemen in the Midwest by Prep Star magazine. During Stephenson's senior season he had 55 tackles, eight sacks and four forced fumbles.

 

Stephenson said he ended up at Iowa State because his high school coach was friends with ISU head coach Dan McCarney.

 

"When I got my release [from Minnesota my coach] told Coach Mac, ‘I got this player who is leaving college and looking for a place to go,' and it went from there," Stephenson said.

 

At 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, Stephenson played defensive end/tackle at Minnesota, but he wanted to switch things up at Iowa State.

 

"After playing defense at Minnesota it kind of burnt me out," he said. "I was tempted to play here, but they gave me a choice to play o-line or d-line and figured I'd have more of an opportunity to hit somebody playing o-line."

 

Stephenson had to sit out last season due to transfer rules and injured his shoulder in the mean time; he said he feels no last effects from the injury.

 

"[Last spring] I was limited in the amount of plays," Stephenson said. "I was recovering from the shoulder but they put me in for a few plays."

 

Currently Stephenson is the No. 1 center and said he feels very comfortable in that position.

 

"It's good having Seth Zehr next to me," Stephenson said. "He played center his freshman year and if I ever have a question I can just turn to him and he'll help me out. I like Kory Pence at left guard. He's a solid player and he really produced last year."

 

As for his goals this season, Stephenson is just happy to be out on the field again.

 

"[I want to] take a hold of the position and take every opportunity I can get," he said.


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