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Lee highlights Iowa State’s rushing attack in Spring Game

Tyler Coe
Dylan Lee rushes for a touchdown during the Spring Game at Jack Trice Stadium on April 20, 2024.

AMES — Iowa State hosted its Spring Game at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, as fans got to watch the team take the field and showcase what they have been working on during the offseason.

With that, this was the first opportunity for incoming freshmen and transfers to play in front of a crowd to show off their skills and make an impact for the upcoming 2024 season.

One freshman stood out above the rest for the Iowa State offense Saturday, and that was running back Dylan Lee.

During the Spring Game, Lee carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards and had a 17-yard touchdown run that ended up being the only touchdown of the game.

Despite quarterback Rocco Becht being sidelined for the game, he praised the freshman’s performance Saturday and hopes he brings performances like these toward the season in the fall.

“[Lee] is an awesome kid,” Becht said. “I liked what I saw out of him and I know the whole offense liked what they saw out of him today, so we’re gonna need him in the fall.”

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell also admired Lee’s performance Saturday and looks forward to what he can bring to the team in the fall.

“[Lee] has been a guy that has flashed throughout this spring and was great to watch him stack a great finish,” Campbell said.

The Gilbert, Arizona, native came into the running back room this spring likely anticipating that Iowa State planned to have sophomore Abu Sama III start for an up-and-coming Cyclone offense.

But this did not stop Lee from being the standout player Saturday, as he showcased his ability to rush the ball at a high level.

Besides Lee, running back Easton Miller had some nice rushes as well. The redshirt freshman had seven carries for 26 yards. AJ Petersen also contributed in the run game with three rushes for 22 yards from the fullback position.

Having multiple different runners capable of making impact plays on the ground, it makes Becht’s life easier when he knows he can trust his running backs to make plays.

“It’s another trust factor where we don’t have to throw the ball in those hard situations,” Becht said. “We can run the ball instead because we have so many dudes in the backfield that are able to make plays.”

A big part in the success of the running game came from Iowa State’s offensive line, which cleared the way for the running backs to make impact plays.

Offensive lineman Jarrod Hufford said that while there is room for improvement, he still praises the work the line has done over this spring that can translate into the 2024 season.

“From an offensive line standpoint, there’s still things to work on, but what we’ve done this spring technique-wise and scheme-wise is really starting to show,” Hufford said.

Despite there not being much to note from the throwing portion of the offense, it provides another level of confidence for an up-and-coming offense that has not just one running back to rely on for the fall season.

“Our confidence just needs to keep building,” Becht said. “We can go back and look at this Spring Game and build off of this.”

The Cyclones now have a break for the summer to prepare for fall camp, as Campbell looks to see how his team can grow for the 2024 season.

“We gotta keep growing,” Campbell said. “If we want to be the team we think we can become, our best has to be the standard.”

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