With the quarterback position wide open on Iowa State, we’ll take a look at all three that could be seen under center in the season opener against North Dakota State. We’ll start with newcomer Joel Lanning, who redshirted last season.
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In all honesty, the Cyclones are hoping that they don’t require Lanning’s services in his first eligible season. That’s not a knock on the Ankeny native, but simply because the football team’s had to go to their redshirt freshman multiple times in recent seasons.
There hasn’t been continuity at QB since Austin Arnaud left. Prior to that, Bret Meyer and even earlier Seneca Wallace. We haven’t reached the futility of 2003 just yet with the trio of Austin Flynn, Waye Terry, and Cris Love (RIP), but we’ve gotten pretty close in the last couple of years.
Redshirt freshmen have always become the fan favorite as soon as the starting quarterback begins to falter. Paul Rhoads also doesn’t mind throwing the guy in when needed. In the final parts of the season, it proves to be the right move. Sam Richardson two years ago and Grant Rohach a season ago finished regular seasons with great success. Richardson of course faltered in the bowl game and the Cyclones weren’t even close to a bowl game last year.
There really won’t be a good time to see Lanning either. Ideally, most college football teams will open up with some
lower-level FCS opponent like Samford, Kennesaw State, Tennessee Tech, or Missouri State
Western A&M South North
. They can throw in their depth in the second half when the games are well past decided.
That won’t be the case for any Iowa State game this year, as per usual. If Lanning sees the field, it will be because both Richardson and Rohach are so futile they didn’t earn the field or they were injured. As was the case with Richardson most of last season.
However, with questions surrounding Richardson’s durability, if Rohach does get injured or underperforms, it could easily be Lanning’s stage. The dual-threat quarterback set a lot of records in his senior season throwing for 2,315 yards and running for an additional 1,082 yards. He had 39 total touchdowns.
Rohach is more of a strict passer while Lanning is more under Richardson’s type. The redshirt freshman could conform to whatever the offense ends up being. But let’s hope Iowa State doesn’t require his services for another year or so.