Three QB's splitting reps, defense making progress

Ian Smith

Staff Writer

AMES --- Mark Mangino knows exactly what he wants in a quarterback and he’s giving three guys the chance to prove they’ve got the goods.

Grant Rohach, Sam Richardson and Joel Lanning split equal reps on Saturday during Iowa State’s first spring scrimmage.

“They all have positives, that’s why we’re in this situation,” Mangino said. “What we have to do is build on the positives and eliminate mistakes. We got to get consistency. The guy who shows consistency will be the guy who will be our quarterback.”

Mangino is looking for very specific and detailed qualities in his signal caller. The laundry list of attributes includes making the right reads, getting people lined up, getting rid of the ball quickly and most importantly, executing the play call.

One guy is who getting heavy dose of the schooling is Lanning. The Cyclones know what they’re getting Rohach and Richardson, but Lanning is a wild card for the starting spot because of his physical talents.

“(Lanning’s) got great talent,” Mangino said. “We got to get him to know how to use that talent and how to understand what a total Big 12 quarterback does. He’s coming along.”

While Iowa State is giving all three QB’s equal reps now, that won’t be the case for long. Mangino stressed that finding a No. 1 quarterback is important for the success of the whole offense. The first-year offensive coordinator wants to pick a top QB soon.

One player who is out of the running for that job is Trevor Hodge. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced on Saturday that the redshirt freshman has been suspended this spring. Hodge has participated in spring practices, but did not play in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Defense learning

Veteran defensive coordinator Wally Burnham summed up his units spring in one word – inconsistent. That’s completely understandable given the Cyclones’ youth.

Burnham said the defense has a long ways to go, but the encouraging news for fans is they are ready to learn.

“I think this group is more eager to learn,” Burnham said. “They seem to be that way in meetings and on the field.”

Linebacker Levi Peters is soaking up Burnham’s wisdom. The sophomore made his mark on special teams last year, but is vying for starting spot this fall.

“Levi is doing a good job and showing up a lot,” Burnham said. “He’s not out there just taking up space, he’s making production plays.”

The same could be said for cornerback Nigel Tribune. Burnham noted the true sophomore is taking the next step and has made plays all spring. Tribune and Peters helped the defense create three turnovers on Saturday.

“That’s always good,” Burnham said. “That’s something we emphasize.”

The spring practices should be beneficial for the defensive line and linebacker units. Both groups are a work in progress, according to Burnham.

News and notes

-       Rhoads wouldn’t elaborate on why Trevor Hodge was suspended, only saying it was due to “internal issues.”

-       More concerning for Iowa State is the potential departure of Devron Moore. The junior college signee figured to play a huge role in the safety position. Moore isn’t currently on campus. Rhoads said Moore returned home last week because he is homesick.

-       Iowa State is banged up at a number of positions right now. Dondre Daley hasn’t practiced this week due to a swollen ankle. The wide receiver is joined in the trainer’s room by defensive end Pierre Aka (concussion) and offensive lineman Brock Dagel (leg injury).  

-       Redshirt freshman Jake Campos is practicing with the No. 1 offensive line in Dagel’s absence.

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  • September 6, 2014
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