Rhoads and staff have a keen eye for talent

Knott_jakecoach_rhoads-niu10

Two years ago today, Paul Rhoads was introduced as Iowa State’s football coach. There was a great deal of excitement because most folks felt Rhoads knew the formula for success at ISU.

Like all programs, the key is recruiting. At Iowa State, part of the plan is finding some overlooked prospects and developing them.

The Associated Press recently announced its All-Big 12 team and three Cyclones – TE Collin Franklin, LB Jake Knott and P Kirby VanDerKamp – were named to the second team.

Two of the honorees (Knott and VanDerKamp) were recruited by Rhoads and his staff.

Rhoads is on record as wondering how Knott hadn’t been snatched up by another school once he hit the road recruiting after his hire.

"I kept watching the film and wondering what I was missing," Rhoads said.

VanDerKamp was offered a scholarship before his senior year at Valley High School in West Des Moines. He hadn’t even been his school’s starter at that point.

Skeptics, I suppose, wondered if Rhoads was taking some risks in offering these "overlooked" state prospects.

As a sophomore, Knott led the Big 12 and finished 11th nationally in tackles, while intercepting four passes and forcing four fumbles.

VanDerKamp averaged 45.7 yards per punt (best nationally among freshmen) and 19 of his kicks went 50 yards or more. He made three frosh All-America teams.

Early returns would suggest that Rhoads and his staff have a keen eye for evaluating talent. Knott and VanDerKamp are two players, who have quickly made an impact with the Cyclones.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

 

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