By Trevor Enerson, CycloneFanatic.com Contributor
What he is: According to Rivals.com, Aaron Horne is a 5-foot-10 175-pound wide receiver out of City College of San Francisco. If you think that college sounds familiar, it’s because that is the same place that Cyclone quarterback Steele Jantz played his JUCO ball. It looks to me like Iowa State has brought in the second half of a very successful tandem. Last year, Horne had over 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns on only 51 receptions. He also averaged just over 23 yards per catch. Horne was also a qualifier out of high school so he was able to just transfer right to Iowa State for the spring semester.
What he does: Horne catches passes down the field. In his highlight video, he is exclusively catching the ball 15-20 yards or more down the field. We never see him catch the ball in space. Because of this, I am going to say he will operate with the intentions or an outside WR.
Strengths/Weaknesses: Horne looks to me to be a very solid route runner. What I mean is that he doesn’t have inefficiencies in his route running. It doesn’t look like he has elite speed but he doesn’t need it. He is a touch undersized for what his skill-set seems to include. In junior college, he seemed like a huge downfield threat. Horne will continue to be that threat if he can gain separation, but it will become much harder against the athletes he will be lined up against. His hands look good but like every other highlight video, you cannot judge consistency. He does seem to catch the ball with his hands which is a good habit to have.
What’s in store: There has been a lot of talk about him being signed as a result of Steele Jantz. While I think the idea could have begun with Steele, he wasn’t signed simply for the reason that Jantz really likes the guy and Iowa State was doing it for him. It’s hard to tell in the highlight tape because often receivers are not always in the picture, but I think that Horne must run some very efficient routes because he get’s open and most of the time it’s by a wide margin. He doesn’t look to me to have elite speed but if you are cutting a yard off your route every time because of how well you run it in comparison to others, a receiver can make up for that speed. Like I said, it looks to me like he will be a route runner, not a catch and create type of guy. While I am not going to get over excited by this signing, I do think there may be a place for him on the field but he could take a redshirt this year to hone his skills and then come in after the Cyclones lose perhaps the top two receivers from the team next year.
He looks to me like: Darius Darks except a touch smaller. He looks to me to have some of the same things. He runs good routes and seems to have decent hands.