A laundry list at the end


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

Then-senior defensive end Dale Pierson goes after then-Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Nov. 22, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium. Pierson and fellow defensive lineman Trent Taylor worked on leading other junior college transfers in their first season. 

Max Dible

ISU coach Paul Rhoads explained that there are a number of players in the hunt for the two starting defensive end positions, making it perhaps the most competitive position on the field during spring football practices.

While Dale Pierson appears to be in the driver’s seat currently, a number of other names matter in the discussion, including another junior college transfer, senior Trent Taylor.

“Trent belongs on the field as a starter for us and today, Dale and Trent were on the field at the same time in opposite positions,” Rhoads said. “Trent is the kind of guy that you challenge to be as good as any offensive tackle in the league that he’s going to compete against.”

Taylor also appeared in all 12 ISU contests last season, starting eight games. Taylor recorded 37 tackles, including five for loss, and also tallied two sacks.

ISU defensive line coach Stan Eggen said that while Pierson and Taylor were both important cogs in the ISU defense last season, they trended in opposite directions.

“Trent adjusted maybe a little bit quicker and it just took Dale a little bit longer,” Eggen said. “But Dale ended up continuing to climb a little bit, where Trent kind of wore out.”

Other notable prospects for snaps at defensive end are redshirt junior Darius White, who is still in the process of transitioning from linebacker to defensive end, and redshirt junior Gabe Luna, who sat out last season due to a back injury.

“I think they’ve all accepted the challenge and are really kind of thriving on the opportunity to step up,” Eggan said of his corps of defensive ends. “That’s what’s great about college football — next man up so to speak — and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

For the full story on the defensive end position, visit the Iowa State Daily website.