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DM Register chat highlights

Just read The Des Moines Register chat with Cyclone beat writer Randy Peterson. Here are the highlights:

  • Coaches are high on linebacker Derek Schmidgall.
  • Hearing good things about receiver Lonzie Range.
  • On the defense: "Anything will be an improvement from last season." And DT Nate Frere is excited.
  • Says the Clones can win at least four of the first five games.
  • Thinks we'll see "considerable improvement" from the offensive line.
  • Not hearing a lot about players switching positions.
  • Peterson predicts "a road win or two."
  • Don't expect to see Darius Darks to play in Saturday's spring game due to a hamstring injury. Leonard Johnson will likely see limited action.
  • Freshman Jake Knott has a shot at playing this fall. "You're going to like him eventually," Peterson wrote.
  • Alexander Robinson is the No. 1 option at running back. Coach Rhoads envisions all three backs -- Robinson, Schwartz and Williams -- playing.
  • On the relationship between the players and the coaches: "Players have said repeatedly that they have a "relationship" with Rhoads, whereas there was no relationship with the head coach last season, they say. They're not intimidated by the coaches as much as they were post-McCarney."