NOTEBOOK: Joel Lanning Heisman, Oklahoma State preparation, senior class

Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning celebrates after a tackle to force a fourth down in the first half against TCU.

Brian Mozey

During Tuesday’s media availability, the two Iowa State coordinators and a number of senior football players came to discuss not only the upcoming Oklahoma State game, but also the last home game of the season.

Joel Lanning for Heisman?

Redshirt senior linebacker Joel Lanning received a note this week from the Heisman Trophy Trust about being considered for an invitation to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation on Dec. 9.

Lanning said he couldn’t believe he was even considered for the opportunity, but he said it wouldn’t have been possible without the help from his teammates and coaches.

“It’s pretty crazy to think that I’m just being in the group of players,” Lanning said. “Pretty surreal.”

Even though it’s a big honor for Lanning, he’s not focused on the Heisman. He’s focused on Oklahoma State and making sure Iowa State can reach its goal of winning a Big 12 Championship.

“If it happens, it happens, that type of deal,” Lanning said on going to New York City if selected. “I’m not going to try and play for that. I’m playing for my teammates, the coaches, the fans, but I mean pretty crazy to think about it.”

Preparing for Oklahoma State

Fast. Physical.

Those are two words that came out of a lot of the players on Tuesday evening. They all agreed that Oklahoma State could be one of Iowa State’s hardest games this season.

Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock said it’s due to the all-around offense of the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has a leader in quarterback Mason Rudolph along with three wide receivers that have five receiving touchdowns or more this season.

Then, in the backfield, the Cowboys have Justice Hill who has 1,064 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Rudolph has many options to throw to or hand off to on Saturday, but Heacock thinks his defense is capable of shutting down this offense.

“He’s really dangerous,” Heacock said. “There’s not really a throw on the field he can’t make.”

Rudolph might not have his premier wide receiver, James Washington, for the upcoming game due to an ankle injury. He’s being evaluated this week and will be a game-time decision on Saturday.

Another senior class reflects on time at Iowa State

Iowa State will host its last home football game this Saturday, which means it’s senior day at Jack Trice Stadium.

For some it’ll be more emotional than others, but overall all the players agreed it’ll be fun to run out of the tunnel and see the Jack packed with Cyclone fans.

For the time being, most of the seniors aren’t thinking about it because they still need to practice and prepare for the game. Once Saturday hits, they said they’ll stay focused at the task at hand, but will also enjoy the small things that make Iowa State a special place to play football.

Both coordinators said that this senior class has a special place in their heart and that it’s allowed the two of them to enjoy their jobs more this season. They always come to work with a smile on their face.

“A brotherhood I would guess,” said wide receiver Trever Ryen on the senior class. “We’ve been really close and continue to stay close and I’m sure that will carry on once football is over with.”