Decision making, accuracy & good feet

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Paul Rhoads started spring practice this week excited about the competition he’ll grade at the quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver and safety positions.

But, the more Rhoads talked Tuesday, the more it became apparent the spotlight is on the quarterbacks.

Right now, it’s four men competing for one job as starter. The candidates, in current depth chart order, are Jerome Tiller, Steele Jantz, James Capello and Jared Barnett.

Rhoads suggested that improvement for his total program starts with progress behind center.

"You look across the country at any program that’s an upstart (has) a guy performing at the quarterback position," Rhoads said. "We need to get (better) play out of our quarterback if the program is going to move forward."

Rhoads succinctly spelled out his requirements from the position.

He is looking for leadership, intelligence and decision making.

"When the flames are hot, you need to be able to make the right decision," he explained.

Rhoads wants accuracy in the throwing game.

"That might be the one area where a guy can get a leg up (on the competition) quickly," he said.

Finally, the QB must make plays with his feet.

"Whether it’s a designed run or to escape pressure," Rhoads said, "you must be able to do it with your feet."

Improving in all facets of the program will create a foundation for total success, but you got the sense Tuesday QB is front and center. The season opener is Sept. 3 and four men will be scrutinized every day until then on the attributes listed above.

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

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