Cyclone football pursues consistency among changing staff


Jacob Rice

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell waves toward his staff as he walk out of the football player entrance at the ISU v Ohio football game on Sept. 17, 2022.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

A 4-8 season with a struggling offense caused Iowa State football to make a handful of staff changes.

With Nate Scheelhaase moving to offensive coordinator, Ryan Clanton taking over the offensive line and Jordan Langs taking over the run game, Matt Campbell has a lot of faith in the offense to click next season.

Scheelhaase made it clear how he wants the offense to run in the coming season, emphasizing efficiency.

“I expect to be physical in the run game and explosive in the pass game,” Scheelhaase said, “to run good, sound plays that are going to consistently get us yards and ultimately create opportunities to create explosive plays.”

Scheelhaase said one of the best things the staff has done for him is just being open and honest about what he should expect.

The connection that Scheelhaase feels to the rest of the staff is tied to the values that they share on and off the field.

One of the people that welcomed him in was defensive coordinator Jon Heacock.

“I think Nate will be Nate, and I think that’s always enough,” Heacock said. “He was put in that position because he earned the right to be in it.”

One of the biggest positional battles that fans have been keeping an eye on is at quarterback. Hunter Dekkers started at quarterback last season and showcased both flashes of brilliance and questionable moments.

Dekkers threw for 3,044 yards and 19 touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions in 2022.

There are a couple of other enticing candidates for the Cyclones next season, including both four-star incoming freshmen JJ Kohl and Rocco Becht, who made three appearances in 2022.

Both Campbell and Scheelhaase acknowledged that Dekkers would probably be at the top of the list going into spring practice, but a strong impression could boost anyone to the top.

“Hunter would have the foundational starting point because of his experience,” Campbell said. “We probably are starting off with the most depth and the most competition that maybe we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

This conversation is important for Scheelhaase and the Cyclones because the offense depends on strong play from the quarterback.

“I don’t think that there’s ever been a time where we’ve played really good football without the quarterback playing consistently,” Scheelhaase said.

An unofficial announcement Campbell made during the press conference is his desire to have a spring game this offseason.

A spring game has been long-awaited by Cyclone fans, and Campbell felt that it could also be a great opportunity for players to pick up game experience before the season kicks off.

The Cyclones are also still deciding if the team will do open practices at nearby high schools, similar to what they did in the previous offseason.