While I was watching
It makes sense. It is my belief that basketball players as a whole are the most athletically gifted players in college sports. My thought process could have ended there, but you all know me to well. I took it another step.
I began thinking of what former Cyclone basketball players would make the best football players. And by the time all was said and done, I had compiled an entire depth chart full of Cyclone basketball players, complete with coaching staff and videographers. And I wonder why some people think I'm a little off.
But, without further ado, here is what I came up with.
Fred Hoiberg- 6'4 210
The Mayor has great size and athletic ability to take the snaps from under center. Once you throw in his high intelligence and leadership abilities, he becomes a natural fit. Hoiberg is in the mold of a Sage Rosenfels with a touch more athleticism. His arm is above average, but Hoiberg strikes the fear in defense with his ability to make something happen when a play breaks down. He is a classic opportunist. (Hoiberg actually played QB at Ames HS and was recruited by Tom Osborne and Nebraska after winning both the basketball and football players of the year in the state of Iowa in 1991.)
Justus Thigpen- 6'2 200
Thigpen has ideal size and speed
to star at the running back position. He has the build of Stevie Hicks and the
jets of Blaise Bryant. That is truly a lethal combination. The
Slot (X) Receiver
Tim Barnes- 5'11 175
Barnes is the unknown commodity on the offense. He is used in the same vein as a J.J. Moses. Barnes is dangerous in short yardage situations and can cut on a dime. He is always a threat to take a reverse to the house. The coaches say he is the fastest man on the team. However, Barnes tends to disappear at times and doesn't bring total mental focus. Academics are also a concern.
Spilt-End (Z) Receiver
Rahshon Clark -6-5 200
Flanker (Y) Receiver
Wesley Johnson- 6-7 205
The freshman flanker has created a stir in practice. His raw potential has wide-receiver coach Wayne Morgan salivating. Morgan said of Johnson, "He is as smooth as a gazelle and leaps like a cat being chased by a Rottweiler. He has the focus of an anaconda in the west Saharan desert." Nobody understood Morgan, but we can assume those were great traits to have.
Marcus Fizer- 6-8 265
There isn't a more physical tight-end in college football. His huge frame swallows up defensive ends and his large backside shields off pass defenders. He is the definition of domination. Fizer owns the middle of the field and it takes three or four defenders to drag him down. He plays with an un-matched mean streak.
LT- Victor Alexander 6-9 280
LG- Jared Homan 6-9 275
C- Kenny Pratt 6-4 280
RG- Clint Varley 6-4 285
RT- Loren Meyer 6-10 290
MAMMOTH. There is no other way to describe the big uglies up-front. Varley and Pratt were both asked to put on 40 healthy pounds to get up to their ideal playing weight. Both obliged without blinking and headed for the nearest Hardee's. The tackles are unbelievably skilled technicians. Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line coach Larry Eustachy said of his group, "You know we're just not tough enough. We have to be tougher. I like these guys, but our toughness isn't tough enough. I really like this Homan kid. He attacks you like somebody stole his cow or something."
Marcus Fizer 6'8 265
Klay Edwards 6'8 275
Edwards is the unsung member of the defense. He goes out and gets his work done, never opening his mouth. Very Nick Leaders-like with his leadership abilities. Edwards is never flashy, but always consistent.
Aaron Agnew 6-9 350
Agnew is so immensely beefy, he stops the running game without having to move. Often times he just falls forward, taking the two guards and center with him. He models himself after ex-Packer Gilbert Brown and actually refers to himself as the "Community Grave Digger."
Damion Staple 6-7 275
Staple did for Jamaican college football players what "Cool Runnings" did for the Jamaican bobsledders. He broke down many barriers. He is one of the most athletic D-Ends in ISU history. He and Fizer have teamed up and anytime they cause a sack, they perform the crowd favorite "StapleFizer," which is eerily similar to the Gator chomp.
Stevie Johnson 6-4 240
This one was easy. Johnson took a shot at playing linebacker back in 2000 and actually saw real game action. Fun fact: Stevie Johnson had the most tackles in the 2000 spring game.
Kantrail Horton 6-2 225
Horton is the emotional leader of
the defense. He isn't the greatest athlete, but finds himself in the middle of a
lot of plays. His intelligence is necessary to relay the complex defensive
schemes of defensive coordinator Tim Floyd onto the rest of the defense. Horton
always seems to play well against
Shawn Bankhead 6-4 235
A favorite of Floyd's, Bankhead is
the most versatile player on the defense. He has the reputation of shutting down
the opposition's best weapon. He has the speed to stay with a receiver and the
size to stop the run.
Will Blalock 5-11 205
Blalock is the solid stalwart in the secondary. His freakish wingspan and 40 plus inch vertical disrupt passes and have earned him "Ellis Hobbsian" like respect from opponents. However, he is often overshadowed by the strong safety.
Curtis Stinson 6-3 220
Stinson carries a wallop and isn't afraid to let you know about it. Head coach Johnny Orr loves his intensity and said, "Who-eee! Curtis can hit, but darn it, he gets flagged too much. Who-eee!"
Jamaal Tinsley 6-3 205
Tinsley's amazing vision is the
reason he is feared throughout the entire country. He reads quarterbacks better
than anyone else in the game. He sees things in slow-motion. And his confidence
is remarkable. With a trip to
Dedric Willoughby 6-2 185
Ron Bayless 5-11 170
Pure electricity. Ron has the same potential as former ISU great return men J.J. Moses and James McMillion. He is quick as can be and never takes his foot off the gas.
Jacy Hollaway 6-0 185
Head Coach- Johnny Orr
Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line- Larry Eustachy
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers- Tim Floyd
Quarterbacks Coach- Jim Hallihan
Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator- Wayne Morgan
Running Backs Coach- Damon Archibald
Defensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach- Greg McDermott
Secondary Coach- Leonard Perry
Special Teams- Paul Shirley
Video Coordinator- Andrew Skoglund
The Cyclones run a single-back set
that Eustachy named the "Tough Nut." The Cyclones like to get Thigpen touches
early and establish their dominance up-front. Fizer is also utilized in the
first stages of the game to pull the defense forward. Once the defense commits,
Floyd, with assistance from
McDermott, change schemes and sets almost every play. They are relentless with
the blitz and allow Blalock and
Johnny Orr, unlike most coaches, enters the field after his team is already on the sideline, pumping his fist while being serenaded by the crowd, "Here's Johnny!" He goes for it on every 4th down and loves the no huddle offense. If things get stagnant, he is quick to pull the trigger and bring in back-up lefty QB Lafester Rhodes for an offensive spark.
One thing is certain: This team is bringin' the Magic to the Jack.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and hear of other players who you think could crack the depth chart. Post your own depth chart on the State of the Nation message board.