Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones show off their spring growth

AMES — After weeks of spring practices, Iowa State football showed off its hard work at the 2023 spring game.

The Cyclones competed in a different setup than a typical regular season game as they had an offensive vs. defense format allowing each side of the field to earn points based off of plays.

Points were earned based on plays consisting of turnovers, touchdowns or other big plays that were determined by the coaching staff.

Cyclones unveil new uniform

In honor of Jack Trice, the Cyclones revealed the uniforms they will wear Oct. 7, 100 years since Trice died.

The uniforms will consist of a red jersey with light brown pants. The jersey will have gray chevron bars signifying the style that Trice wore during the 1932 season.

The helmets and side of the pants will say “Ames” in red letters. Ames is the term that the Iowa State athletic teams were typically referred to in the 1900s.

The back of the helmets will have the words “I will” written in script that was taken from Trice’s handwritten letter prior to the 1923 game against Minnesota where he lost his life.

“What a powerful story we have the ability to continue to tell the country,” head coach Matt Campbell said.

Quarterbacks looking strong

The Cyclone offense consisted of a mixture of familiar and fresh faces.

Hunter Dekkers, Rocco Becht and incoming freshman JJ Kohl rotated between the quarterback positions.

“I thought Hunter had a really good day, I thought Rocco did some great things,” Campbell said.

Running back Eli Sanders was one player who got points from all three.

Dekkers started off with a strong four-yard pass to Sanders and helped Jirehl Brock run for a 16-yard touchdown giving seven points to the offense.

Brock was also seen running confidently with the ball after working to get better following his injuries last season.

“He’s been healthy,” Campbell said about Brock’s performance in the spring break. “I think it gives him a lot of confidence.”

Becht also made strong passes to Sanders and threw a three-yard pass to tight end Gabe Burkle.

Kohl had an unwelcoming start after tripping over himself on the first snap but ended up making consistent passes, one of which to freshman Kai Black for six-yards. Kohl also threw a seven-yard pass to Brock and found Sanders for a run into the endzone.

“For a kid that’s supposed to be getting ready for prom to be out here, honestly, playing football and getting live experience, I think it’s huge,” Campbell said.

A growing process

One thing Campbell could not stress enough was the continuous growth the team has had and will continue to have.

“The goals we had set out from January to kind of grow ourselves forward, you’ve really seen that happen through the first eight weeks of January and February to really all spring practice,” Campbell said.

Dekkers also mentioned that with the tough spring practices the team endured, he was impressed by how much the team has grown.

Dekkers said his personal growth has been his mindset.

“I didn’t really truly understand how your mind can play a role into a full season like that so I think growing mentally was something that I really had to do and learn from,” Dekkers said.

Campbell said with no current planned surgeries or any players, the team should look fairly healthy when the season arrives.

Campbell said himself and the coaching staff will continue to work with each player individually and help them to succeed in the best way possible.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Campbell said. “We’re going to have to have a great summer, we’re going to have to have a phenomenal fall camp. The challenges aren’t getting any easier.”