Hollis dismissed, coaching staff shifts

Jake Calhoun

At his National Signing Day news conference on Wednesday, ISU coach Paul Rhoads announced the dismissal of six players from the ISU football team.

Among the players dismissed, running back Duran Hollis was the name that stood out.

“It’s just a failure to comply with the expectations and the policies of this program,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads.

Hollis, a redshirt freshman, played in 12 games this season, amassing 213 rushing yards and two touchdowns from 31 carries.

Hollis did not return any of the Daily’s calls for comment.

Despite losing Hollis, who was one of four running backs to have a minimum of 10 carries last season, Rhoads said “there was not a need to sign a running back” to this recruiting class with DeVondrick Nealy and Rob Standard emerging from redshirt seasons into competition.

Sophomore Shontrelle Johnson, who began the season as the No. 1 running back, is also slated to return from a neck injury he sustained on Oct. 1 against Texas. However, Rhoads said he could not give a definitive answer regarding whether he will participate in spring ball.

“Medically speaking, that’s a little ways off,” Rhoads said. “At this time, I know his rehab is going sensationally well; he’s always been back to the surgeon down in Dallas, and they’ve given him a thumbs up right now with what he’s doing and he’s fairly active in our weight room right now.”

Jon Caspers, Donnie Jennert, Teddy Lampkin, Floyd Mattison and Anthony Young are the other players who will not be returning to the team.

A number of coaching changes have also taken place during the offseason, most notably the departures of Tom Herman as offensive coordinator and Bobby Elliott as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

The offensive coordinator position has been filled by former receivers coach Courtney Messingham, who had his position filled by Todd Sturdy, former offensive coordinator at Washington State.

Rhoads said he will now shift his attention to hiring a defensive backs coach, who he said will “probably be” the recruiting coordinator for the team, assuming both roles Elliott previously held.

T.J. Mutcherson, one of three recruits who have already enrolled in classes this semester, said, “Just because coach Bobby Elliott left, it still doesn’t change my decision about where I wanted to be at or whether I was thinking about leaving.”