AMES — Iowa State football on Tuesday hosted media day forward of the 2022 season, and Matt Campbell spoke with reporters for the primary time since Big 12 media days final month.
With a number of key options of the Cyclones program departing after final season – Breece Hall, Brock Purdy, Charlie Kolar and others – a new-look Iowa State staff will take the sphere this yr. From a brand new beginning quarterback in Hunter Dekkers to an open competitors within the working back room, Campbell addressed a number of gaps left by the departure of final season’s stars.
Here are the important thing takeaways from Campbell’s press convention on Tuesday:
Expectations for Xavier Hutchinson
Hall led the Big 12 in speeding yards and speeding touchdowns, whereas Iowa State’s receiving sport stood on the shoulders of junior faculty switch Xavier Hutchinson and a pair of tight ends in Kolar and Chase Allen. Kolar and Allen are execs now, leaving Hutchinson in a bigger function.
In his second season with the Cyclones, Hutchinson was third within the Big 12 with 987 receiving yards and had 5 touchdowns whereas averaging 75.9 yards per sport. In doing so, he cemented his place as a starter in Campbell’s offense. It was an increase to the highest of a Power 5 program that shocked some folks, however not Hutchinson’s head coach.
“I do not know if Xavier was ever a man that perhaps shocked me when it comes to what he introduced to our program,” Campbell stated throughout media day. “I believe I had a extremely good understanding of what we have been getting in Xavier Hutchinson when he got here right here.”
This may very well be the season Hutchinson reveals what he is absolutely able to. Last yr, Kolar led the staff in receiving touchdowns with six. Hall had three and Chase Allen had two. Long story brief, Purdy had a number of choices in his receiving corps and took full benefit.
With all three of these gamers gone, Dekkers will nonetheless have an elite receiver in Hutchinson. Should Campbell want different choices for Dekkers to throw to, Sean Shaw Jr. and Jaylin Noel are two names to regulate.
Brock Purdy out, Hunter Dekkers in
Purdy took over in Iowa State’s sport in opposition to Oklahoma State as a freshman and by no means appeared back. He held on to the beginning place by means of the top of the 2021 season, after which he was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers within the NFL Draft.
That means it is Dekkers’ time to shine. The redshirt sophomore appeared in 4 video games for Iowa State final season, recording 20 completions on 36 makes an attempt. He threw for 193 yards, two touchdowns and only one interception.
Knowing that the beginning quarterback function is on the road, Dekkers stepped up his preparation this offseason – and Campbell took discover.
“I take into consideration how he went concerning the offseason, how he studied and the way he ready in January, February for spring observe,” Campbell stated. “I actually suppose how he produced in spring observe and the type of spring observe he had, and equally how he led this summer season. I believe these are all actually optimistic traits.”
Will McDonald, O’Rien Vance return to the protection
Last season, McDonald was eleventh within the Big 12 in tackles for loss (11 solo and 4 assists for 84 yards). While his on-field efficiency put McDonald’s identify within the NFL Draft dialog, he determined to return to Iowa State for his senior season.
When requested concerning the conversations main to that call, Campbell stated it might need been about extra than simply taking part in one other season.
“I believe he had an actual possibility and an actual alternative, given nice suggestions,” Campbell stated. “I might say two issues (are) most likely actually vital for Will. Number one is ending his diploma. … He’ll be the primary younger man in his household to get his faculty diploma. Think meaning a complete lot to Will McDonald.
“Then the opposite piece of it, simply actually persistently getting himself to be probably the greatest defensive linemen within the nation. He felt like there was nonetheless room for development and alternative to develop in a few of these areas.”
McDonald’s return to the protection is a large win for Campbell, and may O’Rien Vance keep wholesome Iowa State might have a tricky protection for opponents to face.
Vance appeared in simply 9 video games final season however made his presence felt in these contests. He recorded a season-high 9 tackles in Iowa State’s bowl sport in opposition to Clemson and had a minimum of two tackles in all however two video games.
Just how a lot of an impression might Vance have this season?
“A wholesome O’Rien Vance is absolutely huge for Iowa State football,” Campbell stated.
Alyssa Hertel is the school sports activities recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.