Iowa State football: Aaron Wimberly emerges as top running back


Sep 26, 2013; Tulsa, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Aaron Wimberly (2) is tackled by Tulsa Golden Hurricane during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

When looking at the depth at running back for Iowa State, everyone was anticipating what James White, Shontrelle Johnson, and Jeff Woody could do in their senior seasons. After the first two games, it turned out that it may not be much with an inexperienced offensive line. Then, junior college transfer Aaron Wimberly decided to make a name for himself.

Wimberly got the unexpected start at running back against Tulsa on Thursday night. After the offense began their first drive with a penalty and ended the typical way drives have this season, Tom Farniok made his first appearance in the second drive since leaving the game against Northern Iowa.

That began Wimberly’s memorable night, rushing for small yardage at the beginning of the drive before breaking off a 35-yard gain that fell just short of Tulsa’s endzone.

Wimberly completed his night on the ground with 137 yards on 19 carries, a night that was similar to Johnson’s when he ran for over 100 yards on Tulsa a season ago. Combine that with a 31-yard catch and 32 kick return yards, and Wimberly had 200 all-purpose yards on the night.

Farniok is a clear night and day difference for the offensive line, but Wimberly showcased patience in finding the openings and pressing the turbo button as soon as he did.

Wimberly came in from Iowa Western CC and did what was unthinkable — he surpassed every running back on the depth chart and has become a glimmer of hope in Iowa State’s football season.