CSR Spring Preview: Running Backs

Iowa State lost an outstanding running back when Alexander Robinson finished his senior season but due to outstanding depth at the position the Cyclones could be even better in 2011. Cyclone Sports Report checks in with Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to see where things currently stand heading into spring practice.

The following players will be competing for spots at defensive end in 2011:

Sophomore Shontrelle Johnson

Redshirt sophomore Jeff Woody

Redshirt sophomore James White

Redshirt freshman Duran Hollis

Redshirt freshman Tyler Leo

Freshman Rob Standard

Freshman DeVondrick Nealy

Cyclone Sports Report: Are Shontrelle Johnson and Jeff Woody the new Iowa State version of "Thunder and Lightning"?

Coach Herman: I don't know about that but we have come a long way from a depth standpoint at running back. We love A-Rob and don't get me wrong because he will be missed a lot but it's so refreshing that we could possibly lose our leading rusher and a captain and feel like we might not miss a beat. Shontrelle and Jeff have a lot of talent and showed that last season but we still feel like they have a lot to improve on in regards to pass protection and route running. Shontrelle has already showed his big play ability but he still has a few habits that he has to break. He can't just run outside in the Big 12 and has to learn more in regards to when he should cut his run inside. We just have to make sure not to over coach him because he is so talented. With Jeff we never doubted that he would earn a scholarship and that's why we recruited him so hard. What was surprising with him was the speed at which he has achieved his success.

Cyclone Sports Report: Do you expect any of the other running backs to make a big impact next year?

Coach Herman: I definitely think that Duran (Hollis) and James (White) will be in the mix. Duran is in a lot of ways very similar to Shontrelle. He could definitely emerge next year and I could easily see him getting 8 to 10 carries a game. James does seems to do things right. He's not doing them spectacularly but just very good and we hope that during the spring that he continues to get better in all aspects of the position. Also don't forget about Tyler Leo who is back from a knee injury. He's a very well respected walk-on that could be the next Jeff Woody.

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