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And Now to Something More Positive

OK, so we're winding down on the close of the unmitigated cocktease that is ISU basketball. So, in my quest to find something positive that's going on over by University Boulevard (Elwood Drive for all you old timers), I jaunted around the internets. And I found this.

Don't like reading? I'll read for you and summarize. Offensive coordinator Robert McFarland was in Council Bluffs the other day, answer questions about the incoming recruiting class and ISU football in general. Here's the big things...

• WR Sedrick Johnson essentially committed to ISU two weeks before signing day. His mom was the one with issues, but is warming up to State. McFarland is extremely excited about his athleticism.
• CB Leonard Johnson's mother wanted him to go to USF, but he had a stronger bond with the ISU staff.
• RB Bo Williams visited ISU immediately after his release and loved it, made snow angels. Apparently isn't aware the rest of the state is sick of this shit and is tired of shoveling.
• RB Jeremiah Schwartz is expected to play as a true freshman.
• OL Adrin Haughton may have academic issues, but could immediately work into the OL rotation.
• CB Ter'ran Benton visited Nebraska after his commitment to ISU, but felt so bad about it afterwards that he called up the ISU coaches and apologized.
• All of the O-Line recruits with the possible exception of Haughton are expected to redshirt.
• TE recruit Carter Bykowski may switch to O-Line.
• TE Collin Franklin asked to redshirt last year in order to learn to block. Now up to 250 lbs.
• Apparently Nebraska QB commit Kody Spano wanted an offer to ISU, but we did not give him one. He's rated higher than Tiller, but apparently we were comfortable with Tiller. Probably due to Spano's weird looking face/hair combo.
• CB recruits Leonard Johnson and Ter'ran Benton are expected to play immediately.
• CB recruit Judah Linder could also play as a true freshman on special teams.
• Kickers Grant Mahoney and Zach Guyer are strong on kickoffs, with one putting it through the uprights (I'd guess Guyer) and the other will be the placekicker (I'd guess Mahoney). Said we picked these two kickers out of 4-5.
• ATH Dustin Land will be a safety.
• JUCO DB Kennard Banks will play CB next year. Said K-State tried to prevent him from visiting ISU after de-committing from the Cats.
• The ISU AD will try and press the NCAA to take action on Texas A&M for its handling of the Sedrick Johnson situation.
• RB Alexander Robinson is expected to be the starter.
• QB Austen Arnaud will be the likely starter, but QB Phillip Bates will compete and will play. Said Arnaud was hurt last year, and that was one reason they did not run Meyer as much last year.
• Redshirt freshmen OL Kelechi Osemele and Trey Baysinger will likely work their way into the starting lineup this season, with Haughton working into the rotation.
• The coaching staff will keep pursuing 6'7"-ish TE prospects that can run, catch and be converted to OL should the need arise.
• Freshmen will be in the mix to return punts/kicks.

There, I did a great job of summing up someone else's hard work.

All-in-all, McFarland was probably pouring out pretty heavy doses of Cardinal colored Kool-Aid at this event, but it's enough to get you excited. For one, our offensive line was very impressive for a group of guys that just sort of were thrown together at the last minute. Between an undersized right tackle in Dedrick, a walkon center with Johnson and a guy in Lamaak that played both tight end and quarterback in high school, they seemed miles ahead of a line the year before that had pro prospects in Aaron Brant and Scott Stephenson. If Baysinger and Osemele (and possibly Haughton) can come in and start over the previous group, that's nothing but good news.

I'm interested to see if Sedrick Johnson will start immediately to begin the season. Apparently he's a game breaker. It's good to hear that his mother is warming up to Iowa State. I wonder why mothers don't like Ames?

We'll also have a newly restocked corps of defensive backs with the addition of Benton, L. Johnson and Banks, which will hopefully make the memory of a roster with only three scholarship cornerbacks during the last half of the 2007 season a distant memory.

I'm also slightly surprised and little bit skeptical of McFarland's story about Kody Spano. He's a pretty good athlete to just deny a scholarship to. If so, then Jerome (as well as Austen and Phillip) must be something special. And, if so, times must be a changin' if Nebraska is some kid's fallback option to ISU.

I want football season to get here, and soon. Yes, I realize most of what was said is going to be glowing with praise. Doesn't make me any less excited. We saw a team against Oklahoma, Missouri, Colorado and Kansas State that can make a bowl next year. And if Gene Chizik can make that happen, one has to think that Cyclone fans can dream big. And that's something that we'd really like to be able to do again.