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While We're Still a BCS Team: Special Teams

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Grant Mahoney, looking crazy right here, will look to become more consistent in 2010.
Grant Mahoney, looking crazy right here, will look to become more consistent in 2010.

The Iowa State special teams are a peculiar bunch. Included are an NCAA record holder, a true freshman expected to start in the Big 12, the only five-deeps at punter that you'll see anywhere, as well as the highly-anticipated predictions for the starter at holder. Pictured at right is Grant Mahoney, the third-year starter at placekicker. Mahoney hit a bit of a sophomore slump in 2009, but has the leg to be one of the best in the Big 12 - maybe.


Kirby Van Der Kamp (Fr.)

Dan Kuehl (RSSr.)

Chad Powell (RSSo.)

Andrew Behnkendorf (RSSo.)

Matt Norton (RSFr.)


Van Der Kamp, a Des Moines native, is the lone scholarship punter for Iowa State in 2010 and is expected to be given every chance to win the job. If he can't, look for Kuehl and Powell, both walkons, to fight for the spot. Powell is a left-footer, providing something a little different.



Grant Mahoney (Jr.)

Zach Guyer (Jr.)

Michael Romey (RSJr.)

Jacob Hill-Male (RSFr.)


Mahoney's job to lose. Guyer is simply too inconsistent of a kicker to warrant replacing Mahoney, even if Mahoney struggles.



Dakota Zimmerman (Jr.)

Sam Anker (RSSr.)

Zack Tucker (RSSo.)


Zimmerman's back to start. Landon Schrage made this position cool (and hell, he was signed as an NFL free-agent due to his snapping skills).



Daniel Kuehl (RSSr.)

Brett Bueker (RSSo.)


Since it's cool to use a punter as a holder, it seems like the Cyclones are leaning towards Kuehl as the starting holder, though Bueker would provide the opportunity to actually pass the ball - unlike the failed Derec Schmidgall fake at Kansas.



Leonard Johnson (Jr.)

David Sims (Sr.)

Josh Lenz (So.)

Darius Reynolds (RSJr.)


One of the best kickoff return tandems in the nation, Johnson and Sims will likely lead to numerous pooch kicks against Iowa State this year. Both are capable of breaking a long return on any play and should be fun to watch again in 2010.



Josh Lenz (So.)


A lack of fear is key at punt returner, and Lenz proved in 2009 that he's not afraid of the footsteps. Barring a setback from this spring's concussion, this job should be his once again.


Aside from a major question mark at punter, the Iowa State special teams should provide some much needed stability in 2010. The development of Van Der Kamp as a starting punter, as well as increased consistency in the kicking game may very well contribute to the Cyclones' win-loss record this fall.