Reed provides anchor for ISU defense

Zac Reicks

Throughout Iowa State’s 2000 football campaign, there have been many bright spots that have contributed to the team’s 6-2 start. Whether it is the passing and leadership of quarterback Sage Rosenfels, or a running game sparked by Ennis Haywood, each phase of the game has been executed by players that know this season has a chance to be special.

At the beginning of the season, ISU Head Coach Dan McCarney said that he wouldn’t trade his defensive line for any in the country. At the time, that looked to be a premature statement, as McCarney didn’t quite know what type of performance the defensive line would produce.

However, players like James Reed have helped to clear up McCarney’s crystal ball and let him know just how good a line he had.

“I think we have lived up to Coach McCarney’s expectations very well,” Reed said. “Overall, I think we have played pretty good, and we just have to keep it up.”

Reed, one of the quickest Cyclone defensive lineman of all time, is not quite ready to divulge the secrets that have made him a third-team, all-Big 12 defensive lineman his sophomore and junior year.

“I don’t want to say what makes me play so good, because then next game I might not play so well,” Reed said. “I will keep praying, practice hard, and I will just try to make plays.”

If there has been one constant that has helped Reed excel on the field, it was time spent in the weight room.

“Time in the weight room and dedication definitely make a big difference in your play,” Reed said. “When it all comes down to it, you just go in there and perform.”

When the Cyclones travel to Manhattan, Kan., to take on the 19th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats this weekend, Reed and the rest of the ISU defensive line will definitely have their work cut out for them.

“I don’t want to make any promises for the Kansas State game because when I do that it seems to turn out the other way,” Reed said. “I don’t want to think beforehand that I am going to dominate, because it might not happen.”

However, with a winning season already guaranteed, Reed knows that every win after this makes it all the more significant .

“Having a winning season is very special. I have been here for some years when we never came close,” Reed said. “But now that we are eligible, we can’t stop here. We need more wins to get to that better bowl game.”

When the last game of this season has been played, and James Reed’s career is over, there is just one thing that he wants to be remembered for.

“I want to be known as one of the quickest defensive lineman around,” Reed said.

“For the younger guys, hopefully they saw how hard we worked everyday. When Reggie [Hayward], [Ryan] Harklau, and the rest of us are gone, we will still have a pretty good defensive line coming back.”