CN Exclusive With John Skladany

Cyclone Nation had a chance to sit down and talk with Iowa State's defensive coordinator John Skladany and talk recruiting. In this story, Skladany talks about everything from filling Jason Berryman's shoes to the defensive backs that he thinks might make immediate impact. Come check it out and get your most complete Signing Day coverage right here at Cyclone Nation.

Blum: Collins Eboh was here for a year, what can you tell us about him?


Skladany:  He had a pretty quick twitch to him. We had a special pass rush package and most of the year he was involved with it. He got into the games and did pretty well. I was really excited about him. I really was. I was disappointed he left the first time with the academic situation. I'm hoping that resolves itself because he's got a chance to help us on the defensive line. He's bigger; he's about 20 pounds bigger than he was. He's grown. He was only pushing 230 on a good day, now he's up to 250 pounds. He looks a lot bigger. He's an end; you will see him on the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle or inside alignment on the tight end. He's got some good moves. He's going to be a good addition.


 Blum: Who else will fill the void of Berryman?


 Skladany: We'll just see. We'll just have to go with it and guys will have to step up and play. We thought we would be in dire straits when Tyson Smith moved from outside backer to defensive line. We ended up being just fine. There are enough guys in the program to man the post. We just have to figure out which one is the right one and how many of them we need to get it done. As long as they have some athletic ability and they can run, then I think we will be successful.


Blum: Coach Mac raved about Rashawn Parker, any chance he fills in up-front?


Skladany: To me he's one of the most impressive guys on the tape. He gets off the ball quick and he is relentless. He's been a running back, so he's got really good athleticism and his speed is exceptional. He may have a chance to help us early.


Blum: Who else will compete to replace guys up-front?


Skladany: We moved Nick Frere to D-end right at the bowl practice. He's very similar to Shawn Moorehead. How fast he progresses and picks things up is the question. But, he's a guy we're interested in. The other guy I'm disappointed that won't be able to do anything in spring is John Machado. He hurt his knee in the fall and he's not able to do much right now. He's doing better. He can run, but we're going to keep him out of contact drills. I think all of that is good.


Blum: Is Travis Ferguson in the mix?


Skladany: Oh yea, he sure is. It's a big spring for him. And it's a big spring for Kurtis Talyor. Those guys have done some special teams work. Travis is 6'3 240 pound kid that can run and he needs to start to go. Kurtis did a nice job on special teams and he's a strong powerful guy. So I'm hoping those guys can help us.


Blum: What about Stephone Dale and Jason McGinty


Skladany: Stephone Dale is really exciting. He's got more natural pop than a lot of guys have. I think he could be pretty good. I really do. He had a good fall. He got himself acclimated from Florida. He's made some friends and is doing better in school. He's asserting himself more. He's got a chance. McGinty played some last year, we'll se how he does in spring.


Blum: Who replaces the hole in the Secondary?


Skladany: We redshirted Houston Jones. We moved James Smith from cornerback to safety. Stevie Johnson is a cornerback and John Banks played a little bit last year. Those are the guys we think can step in and help out quite a bit. They know they're the guys now. They're really in the hunt, rather than being on the scout team. They're guys that have to step into the forefront.


Blum: How about Chris Singleton?

I forgot to mention him. He played most of the year. He didn't play in the bowl game and that really hurt us. He had pulled his hamstring a week before the game. He played one play and we had to take him out. He's 100 percent now. There's five or six kids that you didn't see on the field that much that we worked hard toward the end of the season and feel confident that athletically they will be able to do it. Now if they can grasp the scheme and perform under pressure, we won't know until we start playing. But, I feel good about the caliber of guy we get to work it.


Blum: Any chance Devin McDowell can play right away like Singleton did?


I think Devin McDowell, Drenard Williams, Prince McKinney, Randy Palmer, Kellen White; those are the kinds of kids that can come in and do something right away. They are all good athletes. But you never know until they come in and you can see how they perform. But, they've got a chance.



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