Notebook: Attention to detail, chemistry important for Cyclones’ tight ends and safeties

Iowa State tight ends coach Taylor Mouser speaks to the media during Iowa State fall camp on Friday.

Andrew Harrington

Details, details, details. That’s the main focus for veteran-led position rooms of safety and tight end for Iowa State as fall camp has entered its third week.

Iowa State position coaches Deon Broomfield (Safeties) and Taylor Mouser (Tight ends) met with reporters Friday to discuss how each respective position group has focused on over the spring and start of fall camp.

Attention to detail for safeties

Broomfield has placed a hyper-focus on attention to detail during fall camp given the fact that his returners are now multiple-year starters in an experienced Iowa State secondary. In order to do this, Broomfield is simplifying the game for his players.

“I try not to make the game extremely hard. If you can count to three you can play for me,” he said. 

Broomfield believes that the best way to simplify the game is by focusing on the little things. Learning details leads to playing faster, a skill Broomfield is hoping to instill in his group before fall camp’s end. Whether its foot placement or using your eyes more effectively, the first year safeties coach 

One of the players that Broomfield believes could benefit the most from an increased attention to detail is Isheem Young. Young was named Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2020, earning nine starts and led all Big 12 freshman with 50 tackles. Young led the team, the Big 12 and tied for sixth nationally with three forced fumbles. Now, it’s all about fine tuning the skills of a player who Broomfield believes can only go up in his production.

“Knowing exactly, ‘I have to step with this foot, have my eyes on this guy.’ Just the small finer details, for his natural ability, you will see his ceiling continue to rise. Just things that are simple tweaks that I think he can get done,” Broomfield said of Young.

Chemistry among defensive backs

With a large portion of the secondary returning and Jaquan Amos transferring to play at Iowa State from Villanova, the chemistry of the unit is very high.

Isheem Young discussed his excitement to play with a long time friend Jaquan Amos, both of whom knew each other after both grew up in Philadelphia. The two formed a friendly rivalry of sorts, with their respective high schools playing each other from time to time.

“We met each other through playing with each other in high school. Then we played on the same seven-on-seven team back in 2016 or 2017,” Young said. “We always worked out together back home, so we knew each other for a minute.”

Amos transferred to Iowa State after spending four years in the Villanova program. He was a two-year starter at Villanova, posting two-straight seasons with 50 or more tackles. In 2019, Amos led the team in interceptions (4) and pass breakups (7). The 2020 season was postponed to the spring, but Amos entered the transfer portal in January. 

Iowa State was his choice because of his relationship with Young.

“I just decided to come to Iowa State because Isheem,” Amos said. “I knew Isheem here, and he told me what it was, and that is why I came here.”

While Young  explained that while his relationship with Amos is great, all of the defensive backs have a special chemistry at Iowa State. One of the defensive backs that Young is talking about when he says this is Greg Eisworth II.

“It is great having Greg back, he is a great team captain, great defensive leader, so he is definitely showing the younger [player] the way up,” Young said. “Anything off the field, on the field, Greg is there to help you.”

Amos is extremely appreciative of the way that defensive backs have helped him during his transition to a new school.

“I’ve been good because I [have] Isheem, Greg, everybody in that is in the safeties room. They all just accepted me with open arms, and we all have just been grinding.”

Tight end leadership

With a lot of experience in the tight end room from guys such as Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen, young tight ends have the opportunity to learn quickly.

Tight ends coach Taylor Mouser said that the knowledge of these players helps out the newer players, and also makes coaching much easier.

“We get together on the bench, and [the tight ends] know what the O-line did. They come over and talk to Coach Meyers and myself and they are like, ‘The O-line did not make their combo call to the right spot.’”

Mouser said that the immense knowledge of these players saves time for other things during practice and helps the team win games.

“[Charlie and Chase] know all the plays, so we do not have to spend a lot of time installing all of that stuff because they can come in there, know the plays and we can figure out the best adjustments and the best way to win.”

Tight end Jared Rus feels that he has benefited from the leadership of the tight end group as a whole.

“[Charlie] and Chase, they have the most experience by far, they tell me what to look for on maybe a block or how to read a defense. Having them, [Mouser], I mean even younger guys can give me tips as well. We all like to see everybody succeed.”