Roster rundown

Matt Gubbels


Austen Arnaud, 6-3, 222, So.

Phillip Bates, 6-2, 209, So.

Arnaud, who saw significant playing time down the stretch last season, and Bates, who played wide receiver a year ago, will battle it out for the starting job. Chizik has not ruled out playing two quarterbacks to replace Bret Meyer, who started his last 48 games as a Cyclone.

Running Back

J.J. Bass, 6-1, 206, Sr.

Alexander Robinson, 5-10, 181, So.

Jason Scales, 5-9, 212, Sr.

Fans will see Scales and Robinson get the brunt of the carries with the first team on Saturday, as Bass will sit out the spring game for an undisclosed reason. Robinson led the team in rushing with three of his last five games being 100-yard games, but Bass and Scales also topped the century mark last season.

Wide Receiver

Wallace Franklin, 6-3, 169, Sr.

Marquis Hamilton, 6-3, 220, Jr.

Houston Jones, 6-0, 194, Jr.

Euseph Messiah, 5-10, 171, Sr.

R.J. Sumrall, 6-1, 203, Sr.

Even though the Cyclones lost all-time leading receiver Todd Blythe, they still return their leader in receptions last year, Sumrall. Hamilton showed some explosiveness last season and was second on the team in yards. Because the team uses many multiple receiver sets, someone will have to step into those roles. Franklin and Messiah are in the battle for those spots, as well as Houston Jones – whom Chizik has been very high on during spring practice.

Tight End

Derrick Catlett, 6-4, 251, Jr.

Collin Franklin, 6-6, 231, So.

The coaching staff has praised Franklin because of his size and improving skills. Catlett, who started at fullback last season, will see time at both positions, depending on the formation.

Offensive Line

LT Doug Dedrick, 6-4, 282, Sr.

Matt Hulbert, 6-7, 287, So.

LG Alex Alvarez, 6-2, 282, So.

Reggie Stephens, 6-4, 320, Jr.

C Brandon Johnson, 6-3, 305, Sr.

Mike Knapp, 6-3, 270, Jr.

RG Joe Blaes, 6-2, 289, Sr.

Kelechi Osemele, 6-5, 341, Fr.

RT Trey Baysinger, 6-6, 292, Fr.

Ben Lamaak, 6-4, 306, So.

The line that was able to show three different tailbacks the way to a 100-yard game returns four starters. Dedrick was voted the team’s newcomer of the year and will once again be a part of protecting the quarterback’s blind side. Lamaak may be moving into guard, depending on the tackle situation. This unit has much more depth this season, shown by players like Osemele, who may figure into the equation after being named 2007 offensive scout team player of the year.

Defensive Line

WE Christopher Lyle, 6-4, 248, Jr.

Rashawn Parker, 6-0, 252, Jr.

DT Bailey Johnson, 6-3, 266, So.

Chris Weir, 6-3, 274, Sr.

NG Jerrod Black, 6-2, 290 Fr.

Nate Frere, 6-2, 307, Jr.

DE Nick Frere, 6-2, 248, Sr.

Kurtis Taylor, 6-2, 257, Sr.

The Cyclones return their rush ends, but have a couple of gaping holes in the middle. Parker led the team in tackles for loss and Taylor led the team in sacks, but tackles Bryce Braaksma and All-Big 12 player Ahtyba Rubin are gone and will be replaced by players who only played limited snaps last season. Fans may want to watch for Black, defensive scout team player of the year last season.


SLB Cameron Bell, 6-1, 223, So.

Michael Bibbs, 6-2, 225, Sr.

MLB Derec Schmidgall, 6-1, 222, Jr.

Jesse Smith, 6-0, 235, Jr.

WLB Fred Garrin, 6-1, 219, Jr.

Josh Raven, 5-11, 218, Jr.

Iowa State will have to replace its two leading tacklers in All-Big 12 linebacker Alvin Bowen and Jon Banks. Smith led the defense from his middle linebacker spot last season and will be expected to do the same while helping out four candidates at the outside linebacker positions who will be trying to fit into the defense after playing special teams a year ago.


LCB Allen Bell, 6-2, 189, Jr.

Devin McDowell, 5-9, 183, So.

RCB Zac Sandvig, 5-10, 184, So.

Chris Singleton, 5-10, 191, Sr.

SS Chris Brown, 5-10, 177, Sr.

Steve Johnson, 5-11, 201, Jr.

FS Brandon Hunley, 5-11, 205 Sr.

James Smith, 5-8, 192, Jr.

The Cyclones return all four starting defensive backs but have had some depth problems in spring practice. McDowell will more than likely fill the nickelback position, but an incoming player may have to fill the dime position. Smith was third on the team in tackles from his safety position, and Singleton had four interceptions last season. Both are expected to fill the same role this year.

Special Teams


P Mike Brandtner, 6-1, 208, Jr.

KR/PR Sumrall, Bell, Sandvig, McDowell, Robinson

Brandtner is a two-year starting punter, but the kicker position will have to be filled by a newcomer, thanks to the graduation of Bret Culbertson. Likely candidates include high school seniors Zach Guyer and Grant Mahoney. Sumrall, Bell and Sandvig have the most experience returning kicks, but newcomers could also make an impact.