Saturday, April 16, 2011
Hope Springs Eternal
Iowa State quarterback Jerome Tiller threw the prettiest ball he’s thrown in three years on the opening play from scrimmage in today’s annual spring game—a 30 yard tight spiraled strike to Darius Reynolds into a stiff wind. Highly touted junior college transfer Steele Jantz threw an equally impressive touchdown strike later in the first half. Jantz’ throw was into a stiff wind too. The defense returns 9 of 11 starters from a unit that surprised most college football experts a year ago. A new 13-year television deal between Fox and the Big 12 was inked this past week, meaning nearly every Cyclone football game will be televised beginning in 2012. The deal, according to Big 12 officials is the most lucrative television contract in all of sports. Yes, hope springs eternal in Cyclone country this April, still four months away from another college football season.
It was a windy, cold day at Jack Trice Stadium, but that didn’t stop thousands of Cyclone fans from venturing out to see who the new quarterback might be this fall, or what all the hype is about a slew of exciting running backs—maybe the best depth and combination of running backs the school has ever had when it’s all said and done.
It appears as though Jerome Tiller (12-18; 174 yards; 2 TD’s) and Steele Jantz remain in a close competition at the QB spot. Jantz threw for 113 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass from Jantz was a gorgeous 50-yard touch pass to his junior college teammate Aaron Horne. Of all the players that impressed me the most today, it was Horne who had 8 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. Horne, will join three returning starters from last years receiving corps—Darius Reynolds, Darius Darks and Josh Lenz to give the Cyclones a potent, experienced passing game. The biggest question that remains though, is who will be leading that passing attack?
Whether it’s Jantz, Tiller, or even freshman Jared Barnett who looked great as a scrambler but not so much as a passer, one thing is for certain—it’s April, there’s a lot of talent returning from a team that nearly made a bowl game last year, there’s the new TV deal, we get the Hawks at home this year, and yes—hope springs eternal.
Posted by Andrew Gogerty at 7:06 PM