Harrington: Three Big Takeaways from Iowa State’s open practice


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Greg Gaines hits the field for Iowa State’s spring open practice in Gilbert, Iowa, on April 15.

Andrew Harrington

GILBERT, IOWA — Iowa State football completed its second and final open practice of the spring, once again giving us an inside look at the team’s development.

The practice took place at Gilbert High School as fans rallied to witness young players and veterans compete on the field.

Here are three observations from Friday’s open practice.

Young weapons show out

With players such as Breece Hall and Charlie Kolar moving on to the NFL, roles in the offense have opened up for the taking. 

This brings up opportunities for young players such as Tyler Moore, Greg Gaines and Cartevious Norton to get some playing time this season.

Gaines and Norton are both new to the Cyclones, joining Iowa State for the first time this spring, and will participate in their first seasons in the fall.

Head Coach Matt Campbell said that he is eager for these two to continue to show what they can do on the field. While Norton was not able to participate in many activities on Friday, Gaines put his skills on display, making a few leaping grabs.

As for Moore, Campbell has always been high on him. He sat behind a couple of key players in Kolar and Chase Allen last season, but he is poised for a breakout.

“If you would’ve asked me a year ago, one of your top freshmen from last year’s class, I would have put Tyler Moore right towards the top of it,” Campbell said back on March 7.

Injuries not a concern

While a few players have sat on the sidelines during the open practices, Campbell assured everyone after the practice that it is just a precaution.

“We got dinged up a little bit. You know we had a couple guys out, but the great thing is none of those injuries are season ending,” Campbell said.

Campbell also mentioned that the team will have some time off before beginning practice again sometime in the middle of May. By then, he expects his squad to be nearly completely healthy.

Vance ready for revamped unit

Mike Rose and Jake Hummel are on their way to their next chapters, which may raise some concern about how strong the linebacking core will be in 2022.

O’Rien Vance attempted to put these concerns to rest, and says the group has been working hard and improving every day.

“We’re working. That’s all I can say,” Vance said.

One of the players Vance has grown close to over the years is fellow linebacker Gerry Vaughn. Vance has been with Iowa State since 2017 while Vaughn arrived just a year later.

During their time together, Vaughn feels that they have both developed on and off of the field.

“These guys kind of pick it up quicker,” Vance said. “There are times where I do feel like I’m stepping back from being a player and trying to coach more.”

Due to this growth, the two have become the primary leaders as the next generation of Iowa State linebackers develop.