Once again on Monday, depth was the most talked about thing when Iowa State offensive line coach Jeff Myers met with the media. For the first time in the young coach’s time at Iowa State, that depth was talked about as a positive rather than a question mark.
There are no questions as to whether or not there’s enough talent for Iowa State to stand up to Big 12 defenses up-front this spring.
The Cyclones return seven players with a combined 93 starts and different variations of those seven players combined to pave the way for one of the best offenses in school history during the team’s run to the Big 12 championship game and a win in the Fiesta Bowl.
“We have incredible depth now, and it’s something that we’ve worked really, really hard on since we’ve been here,” Myers said. “Because depth builds competition, and we know the more competition you have in your room, the better guys are becoming.”
That group up front is led by senior center Colin Newell, who bounced back from missing the majority of the 2019 season with an injury to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors a season ago. He’s joined by second-team All-Big 12 choice Derek Schweiger and honorable mention All-Big 12 honoree Darrell Simmons in bolstering the interior of the line.
That trio doesn’t even include Trevor Downing, who missed all but a few drives of last season with an injury, but remains the guy with the highest upside of any in the unit.
The unit’s stiffest competition will reside at the tackle spots where Jake Remsberg, Sean Foster, Joey Ramos and Grant Treiber are expected to battle for the majority of the playing time.
“We have a lot of guys in our room that are more than capable of going in and playing football games for us right now,” Myers said. “We haven’t had that luxury in the past.”
Young Guys Note
*** Myers pointed at Tyler Miller, Brady Petersen, Sam Rengert, Hayden Pauls and Anthony Smith as players he is excited to see get more reps this spring with their lack of existing game film.
“I would say I’m equally excited for all of those guys, you know, to get going and to see where and what growth they made through the last season that probably didn’t show up, or certainly didn’t show up in terms of game video, but things that we’ve evaluated off practice film,” Meyers said. “I’m excited to watch those guys continue to grow and to get out there and continue competing.”