Crowd always has friendly faces for Blythe

It's no secret that Iowa State coach Dan McCarney has rebuilt the Cyclones' program with in-state talent. He has turned the Hawkeye state into the Cyclone state by recruiting unknown superstars like All-American candidate Todd Blythe. Blythe, a wide receiver from Indianola, is a two-time All Big 12 performer and already holds the school's record for most touchdown receptions after only two years.

In high school, Blythe scored 25 touchdowns and accounted for over 2,200 yards through the air in three years as a varsity standout.  Blythe, however, didn't make strides on his own.  His father, Jim Blythe, said Todd benefited greatly from the teammates and coaches he played with growing up.


"Todd had great coaches," Jim said. "[In] baseball, football, basketball Todd was blessed by the kids he grew up with and by the coaches he had."


As a kid, Todd played baseball, basketball, football and swam during the summers.


"He was allowed to be a kid," Jim said.  "He played a lot of baseball because little league [baseball] starts before football.  [Todd] started playing football in the Indianola recreational leagues in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades."


Jim, a former UNI and minor league baseball catcher, said Todd has intangibles beyond his athleticism that make him successful.


"He has always enjoyed everything he does," Jim said.  "He was a coach's kid so he was usually pretty quiet around the field.  Even though he was quiet, he has always been very competitive.  We challenged him to get involved in a lot of different things.  He enjoys doing things outside of football and football players.  He tutored an elementary school student in reading [in addition to] the sports he played in high school."


Jim said Todd's demeanor on the field dates back to lessons he learned very early in his career.


"Todd was taught by all of his coaches how to play the game the right way," Jim said.  "He has always respected the game.  He loves to play the game.  I asked him a couple of days ago if he was getting tired of working out for 11 months out of the year.  He just smirked and said, ‘No, I love it dad.'"


Todd has had the support of his parents at every level he has ever played.  His mom, Cinda Blythe, said they never miss a Cyclone football game and hope they don't anytime soon.


"We haven't missed any ball games and we don't plan on it," Cinda said.  "Whether it's the CIML or the Big 12, we'll go wherever he goes.  We go to all of his games with Bret Meyer's parents."


Cinda said a conflict with his sister Sara's high school cross country meet has been the only game they've missed since high school.


"Todd's sister [Sara] had a cross country meet out of town," Cinda said.  "When we got back to watch the second half of Todd's [freshman] football game, someone said ‘Todd scored four touchdowns already, he probably won't play much more!'"


A 6'3" high school freshman running back, Todd's talent couldn't be hidden long.  His large frame made him an excellent candidate to switch to receiver -- which he did at the start of his sophomore season.


Being the parents of a standout receiver can change a lot.  With excess media attention as well as letters and calls from NFL agents, most would think the Blythe's world would be turned completely upside down.  Jim said not much has changed, however.


"When Todd was [living at home], he was always ‘Coach Blythe's son," Jim said.  "Now that he's at Iowa State, people say I'm Todd Blythe's dad."


With both Jim and Cinda teaching at Indianola High School, they said they hear student's whispers about Todd whenever they're around.


"Being a high school teacher, kids in my classes know Todd's at Iowa State," Cinda said.  "[I frequently hear] students say ‘Wow, that's Todd's mom."


With all the publicity Todd receives from college analysts and NFL scouts, Jim said Todd's sights are still firmly focused on his last two seasons at Iowa State.


"Every kid dreams of playing in the [major leagues]," Jim said.  "He's not in a hurry, though.  His master plan has always been to get a degree and play four years at Iowa State.  He wants to help the Cyclones win as many games as possible."


If Todd stays to finish his college career at Iowa State, he is on track to break almost every receiving record the Cyclones have.  Wherever Todd goes after that, it sounds like ‘Todd Blythe's dad' will be in the stands watching.


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