Cyclones lose key defensive players to transfer portal

Iowa State safety Isheem Young gets ready for the next play against Oklahoma State on Oct. 23.

Matt Belinson

It was an exodus of key defensive players out of Ames on Monday, with three Iowa State defensive starters, along with a key reserve, choosing to enter the transfer portal.

Isheem Young, Aric Horne and Kym-Mani King entered the transfer portal according to multiple reports on Monday.

Michael Swain of 247Sports reported King and Horne’s departure, with Max Olson of The Athletic reporting Young’s exit.

Young, a redshirt sophomore, won Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2020 after starting nine games. Young led all Big 12 freshmen with 50 tackles, good for fifth on Iowa State.

Young led the team, the Big 12 and tied for sixth nationally with three forced fumbles in 2020.

Young had a 18-game starting streak dating back to last season, good for eighth best on the Cyclones.

He started every game this season and tied for third on the team with 56 tackles.

King, a junior, played in 11 of the Cyclones’ 12 games this season and finished with 29 tackles and an interception. King was a three-star recruit according to 247Sports Composite.

Horne was a valuable reserve at linebacker for the Cyclones in his three seasons in Ames. The redshirt sophomore racked up 35 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one interception in his Cyclone career.

Horne played in all 12 games for Iowa State this season.

The Cyclones’ most recent two-deep features 26 players either graduating or transferring.