Watson’s return a boost to the experience in the secondary

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Iowa State’s secondary got a lot more experienced last week.

 The return of senior cornerback Jansen Watson to the lineup brings some stability. He joins senior safeties Deon Broomfield (7 career starts) and Jacques Washington (27) in the secondary.

 “It’s a position group that has more maturity than any other group we have,” Coach Paul Rhoads said. “They act like it and play like it.”

 The battle to start opposite Watson vs. Iowa was between freshman Charlie Rogers and sophomore Sam Richardson. Both held up well in the opener against the Panthers and Richardson actually led the team in tackles.

 Some observers were mildly surprised that Richardson got the starting call, but Rhoads has monitored his steady improvement.

 “Sam has really played well from Aug. 5 on,” Rhoads said. “Did he get picked on a little bit (vs. the Panthers)?”

 Rhoads confirmed he did get many balls thrown his way against UNI but it wasn’t because of faulty play.

 “It was more positioning than him, meaning he was into the boundary and they threw in his direction a little bit more because of that,” Rhoads said.

 Rogers has also impressed all fall. And, Rhoads said Monday the redshirt is coming off freshman Nigel Tribune.

 The seasoned secondary is a team strength and the veterans are mixing nicely with the stable of young corners.