As is often the case when a new head coach takes over a college football program, the slate has been wiped clean at Iowa State by new head coach Matt Campbell.
“Everybody starts with a clean slate, with no preconceived notions,” Campbell said Tuesday. “We’ve said that from day one — allow these guys to start from scratch and really allow them to see what they look like over a period of time.”
Most teams will release a depth chart once spring football practices open, but Campbell opened his first Iowa State spring practice without releasing any such depth chart. That drives home the idea that everybody is competing for playing time and being given a true clean slate before nay decisions are made by the coaching staff.
“There are some guys that have stood out,” Campbell said of winter conditioning drills. “For me to give names right now I think is unfair until we see practice. I think some guys really did some great things in winter conditioning.”
Campbell is expected to bring a run-heavy focus to the Iowa State offense, just as he worked with at his previous stop in Toledo. That may take some time to come together though because the Cyclones are revamping their entire offensive line with the notable exception of one player. Iowa State’s offensive line loses players that started a combined 111 games and right now is working without junior Jake Campos following hip surgery. Mike Warren figures to be a key player in Iowa State’s offense again this season no matter how long it takes the offensive line to gel. As a freshman in 2015, Warren rushed for a team-high 1,339 yards and was second on the team with five rushing touchdowns. Joshua Thomas, also a freshman in 2015, contributed on the ground last season as well with a team-high seven touchdowns.