10. Fresh Impact
Every season there are a few new
faces who step onto the practice surface during two-a-days and cause Dan McCarney to break into adjective alert. You know those guys that elicit the
words, "Explosive," "Great Motor" and "Tremendous Athlete" from Coach Mac.
Recent members of this fraternity include Chris Singleton, Alvin Bowen, DeAndre
Jackson, Jason Berryman, and Ellis Hobbs. They are players that the coaches
can't keep off the field and who give the practices an extra level of intensity.
They push the returning starters to take it up a notch. And by the time the
first game rolls around, they can be found making an impact in front of a packed
Jack. So who will be this year's Fresh Impact Guy? Who will be the FIG? The list of
potential candidates is as loaded as ever. Devin McDowell has garnered the most
attention and is poised to threaten for playing time from day one. But don't
forget about Kris Means, Drenard Williams, Derron Montgomery, Kellen White and
Prince McKinney. They all have the potential to wow the staff with their
playmaking ability. However, the two guys who I am certain will be taking a
significant number of snaps against
9. The Player Entrance
The player entrance is the most underrated part of game day. Is there a better feeling than hearing the sound system blaring and seeing the captains lead the guys down the walkway for the first time of the football season? The expectation, the tension, the buzz all building to a bursting point. The noise escalates, the Cyclones congregate in a circle, and then they explode onto the field. Can you feel it?? Rumor is there may be a unique change to the entrance this season to make this moment even more hair-raising. Needless to say, the Jack will be quite the "storm shelter."
8. The Return of the Run
All-American candidate Center
Scott Stephenson promised in a chat CN had with him a month ago, that ISU would
run the football. No. Questions. Asked. The o-line is arguably the most
important part of this season. With a potential of 5 seniors paving the way, the
Cyclones must become a more physical and dominating run team. It has been 5
years since an
You can be assured there will be a play or two that will cause Voice of the Cyclones John Walters to take those words to an extra level. Will Brent Curvey rumble for another TD? How about a Kickoff return for a TD (it hasn't happened since 1994)? Will John get to proclaim a Euseph Messiah resurrecting TD? Who knows, but there will be some memorable moments cemented by Walters' words and with the new "BUSty" flagship, those words can be heard on one station in most of the state.
6. The Red-Shirt Resurfacing
Each off-season several red-shirts
make the so called "leap." They emerge from the practice squad onto the playing
surface. WR Marquise "Big Body"
5. Tailgating Food
Can you smell the Iowa-bred pork grillin'? How about the scent of bratwurst sizzling on that new grill you purchased during the long winter? Can you taste the half-pound burger mixed with your favorite celebratory beverage after a big victory? I think you better go practice whipping together some steaks and eggs for the occasional morning tailgate. Hungry? Better start the preparation. That's what the Cyclone experience is all about.
4. The M.B. Connection
"Meyer to Blythe….Touchdown
The 2006 season has been tabbed
the "season of opportunity." The schedule is tough (9 teams made bowl games in
2005 and 5 will more than likely be ranked in the polls come August.) But on the
proverbial other side of the coin, it leaves multiple chances to make a
statement on the national level.
2. The Hitmen Defense
Some may think this defense will struggle when faced with some of the premier offenses on the schedule. And certainly with an undersized D-line the Cyclones may have some growing pains. But this "GoodFellas" defense with the likes of Tyrone McKenzie, Alvin Bowen, Adam Carper, DeAndre Jackson, Jon Banks, Chris Singleton, and James Smith features a combination of athletes ISU hasn't seen on the field at the same time. They may be a little raw, but by the end of the year they will be something to see.
1. Offensive Firepower
10 of 11 starters return off of an
offense that averaged over 33 points in the final 6 games. Other than the M.B.
Connection, the offense showcases rock-solid names like Flynn, Hicks,
Can you feel the excitement?