Let the era of bad steel-themed puns begin.
Junior College transfer Steele Jantz has been named as Iowa State's starting Quarterback for the upcoming season. Jantz emerged from a three man race that included last year's backup, Jerome Tiller, and redshirt freshman Jared Barnett. Tiller, who you probably remember as being "fairly competent" as a backup to an injured Arnaud during FUMBLEPALOOZA 2009, was ruled out for the season due to academic ineligibility. Coach Rhoads insisted that Jantz had already distinguished himself as the starter before news of Tiller's ineligibility had broken. This means that Barnett will be the backup signal caller for the Cyclones this season.
Sadly, this is likely the end of the Tiller era at Iowa State, at least behind center. Rhoads said that Tiller would be taking snaps with the practice squad, and that a position change wasn't entirely out of the question, should Tiller get things turned back around in the classroom. For now, though, it looks as though the 9-7 victory over Nebraska in 2009 will be his opus.
As for this new gunslinger from San Fransisco with a laid back attitude and a fauxhawk? Last year Jantz led San Fransisco City College to an 11-1 record and the Northern California Football Association Title, racking up 23 TDs in the air and another 14 on the ground. Youtube has us covered on the highlights from last year:
Decent arm strength, good amount of touch, and it looks like he has some wheels when he decides to tuck it and run. This piece over at cyclones.com makes him sound like he'll be a mobile quarterback in the same vein as Seneca Wallace.
"The kid can run," Herman said. "His first two steps are really quick and when he decides to run he’s got a good burst and a real quick three step."
Rhoads cited "decision making, throwing accuracy, and getting things done with his feet" as the three qualities that distinguished Jantz as the starting QB. Steele is one of the first Rhoads' recruits who will see heavy playing time, so expect Jantz's success to be used as a barometer for the staff's talent evaluation skills. Rhoads and OC Tom Herman were in the stands during Jantz's NCFA title game in which he ran for 4 TDs and threw for another in a 52-15 victory.