Aaron Wimberly gets running game going for Iowa State


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson hands the ball off to junior running back Aaron Wimberly against Northern Iowa on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones fell to their instate competition 20-28.

Dylan Montz

Not since the 2012 season opener has an ISU running back rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. But last Thursday against Tulsa, junior Aaron Wimberly ended that streak with 137 yards on 19 carries against the Golden Hurricane. 

So what makes him effective in the ISU running game to the point that coach Paul Rhoads has declared him the starter against Texas?

“Have you watched him? He’s a pretty fast dude,” said ISU running back Jeff Woody, with a laugh. “The thing with Aaron is that he goes from about zero to 60 in one step and his 60 is fast.”

The Cyclones experienced the longest running play of the season in the first quarter by Wimberly, a 35-yard scamper. Wimberly lined up to the left of quarterback Sam Richardson and ran it to the right side of the field with one side step that gave him an open lane after receiving a block from center Tom Farniok.

The run resulted in Iowa State having the ball at first and goal from the one-yard line where Woody would punch it in to give the Cyclones the lead. Rhoads said in his news conference Monday that Wimberly will “get the bulk of the carries” for Iowa State against Texas.

“Coach was saying that play was going to be there so when I actually saw it, I made sure to know that was the play that was going to be there the whole game,” Wimberly said of his 35-yard run.

Wimberly was patiently waiting for an opportunity to contribute to the offense against Tulsa after learning about the ISU running game since transferring from Iowa Western Community College. Iowa Western was junior college national champions in 2012 and Wimberly was at Iowa State in the spring of this year.

His recruitment was a pretty fast process as far as the ISU coaches were concerned because of the work done early in recruiting him.

“He was one of those guys that you didn’t need to spend a lot of time in evaluation,” Rhoads said of Wimberly. “You saw the speed, you saw the ability to hit a small hole, you saw very little wasted movement and motion.”

With Wimberly’s so to speak coming out party against Tulsa, he expects defenses, specifically Texas, to adjust to stop him. What he hopes that will do is open up opportunities for the several other Cyclone running backs as well as involve the wide receivers.

The plan for Thursday’s date with Texas will be a simple one for Wimberly.

“Execute every play I get in and follow my blocks,” Wimberly said of what he will try to do. “The linemen did a hell of a job blocking in that game [against Tulsa.]”