Things are certainly going to look different on offense when the 2022 Iowa State Cyclones take the field.
Brock Purdy, the Cyclones’ leading passer in each of the last four seasons, is off to the NFL. The same is the case for Breece Hall, the top rusher for the last three campaigns, and Charlie Kolar, one of the country’s best pass-catching tight ends during 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons.
Making matters worse is some of the candidates to replace the production of Iowa State’s Big Three opted to transfer elsewhere.
It seems unlikely that Iowa State will lead the Big 12 in passing yards per game as the Cyclones did in 2021. However, there are enough players back on the second-ranked defense in the conference to give Iowa State fans some hope moving forward.
Iowa State Cyclones
- 2021 record: 7-6
- 2021 conference record: 5-4
- Head coach: Matt Campbell
- Odds to win conference title: +1600
It was quite the experience of watching four Iowa State players get selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. That matched the mark set in 1977. However, back then there were 12 rounds compared to just seven these days.
The thought was Hall might become the first player from Iowa State taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since running back George Amundson was the 14th overall pick in 1973. That didn’t happen as Hall slipped out of the first round.
All signs are pointing to defensive end Will McDonald going in the first round during the 2023 draft.
Ten of the top 16 tacklers from a season ago are gone. However, leading tackler Jake Hummel returns. Anthony Johnson, Gerry Vaughn, Beau Freyer, O’Rien Vance, and Isaiah Lee join McDonald to give the Cyclones some experience on the defensive side of the ball.
Xavier Hutchinson, who led the team with 83 catches and 987 receiving yards, figures to be the top player on offense. Jaylin Noel (38 receptions for 265 yards) is another pass catcher to watch. He is also Iowa State’s top kickoff and punt returner). The return of Jared Rus, Sean Shaw, and Darren Wilson will give the new Iowa State quarterback some options when he drops back.
is an in-state product that looks the part at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. He was thrown out there against rival Iowa in the second game of the 2021 season and was 11 of 16 for 114 yards and one touchdown in the loss to Iowa. He also threw a TD against Oklahoma later in the season.
Nobody is going to replace Hall who had 20 games with more than 100 rushing yards in his three seasons with the Cyclones.
Jirehl Brock and Deon Silas saw limited action behind Hall although they did combine for three touchdown runs and were utilized in the passing game as well.
Andrew Mevis, who handled the punting and field goals, is gone
Safeties Isheem Young and Craig McDonald, who combined for 97 tackles and four interceptions, have transferred to Ole Miss and Auburn. Receivers Tarique Milton (278 yards on 15 catches) and Joseph Scates (four touchdowns among his 16 career receptions also headed elsewhere. Offensive tackle Joey Ramos is now at Arizona State.
Starting offensive linemen Trevor Downing, Jared Hufford, and Tyler Miller all return. Downing earned first-team preseason All-Big 12 honors. He was joined on the first team by Hutchinson, Rus, and McDonald.
Take a Look at the NCAAF Predictions For Wake Forest & Cincinnati
- College Football Predictions: No. 31 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- College Football Predictions: No. 30 Cincinnati Bearcats
4️⃣ Named To Preseason All-Big 12 Teamhttps://t.co/Trpw4Su7FW
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) July 6, 2022
Iowa State didn’t add many players via the transfer portal.
Former Colorado receiver Dimitri Stanley had 70 catches in four seasons and was also used to return punts, also punt returners. Reeder had 173 tackles, 20½ tackles for loss, 8½ sacks, four interceptions, and four fumble recoveries during his time at Delaware. Former Kansas quarterback Conrad Hawley and former Minnesota defensive linemen are other key incoming transfers.
Losing the top passer, rusher and one of the top receiving threats was tough enough for Iowa State to contend with. Add in the more than 20 players who have transferred since the start of November and we’re about to see how well head coach Matt Campbell and his staff have been recruiting.
Something to consider for those who bet online, Iowa State covered against the spread in just two of its last seven games in 2021.
Iowa State plays five of its first six games at home with the lone exception coming in Week 2 against Iowa. Having a bye week in between the October matchups against Texas and Oklahoma is pretty good timing.
- Sept. 3 vs Southeast Missouri State
- Sept. 10 vs Iowa
- Sept. 17 vs Ohio
- Sept. 24 vs Baylor
- Oct. 1 vs Kansas
- Oct. 8 vs Kansas State
- Oct. 15 vs Texas
- Oct. 29 vs Oklahoma
- Nov. 5 vs West Virginia
- Nov. 12 vs Oklahoma State
- Nov. 19 vs Texas Tech
- Nov. 26 vsTexas Christian