ISU grooming mobile blockers


Football coaches are always on the lookout for athletes. They like guys with speed and agility. At Iowa State that attribute is coveted at all positions.

Offensive line coach Bill Bleil, in fact, puts a premium on sleek and mobile blockers. With Iowa State’s no-huddle, quick-paced offense, it’s imperative for the guys up front to be able to move and move quickly.

Paul Rhoads and his staff have signed 10 offensive line prospects since their arrival. Junior college center Sam Tautolo (305 pounds) is the only one that had a listed weight above 300 on signing day. Four of the signees weighed in the 250s. Iowa State likes the leaner guys with big frames.

“We have a very athletic group (this spring),” Bleil said recently. “I think their athleticism and intelligence is what stands out. (Most) have great feet and can run.”

The current two o-line deep is led by a couple of huge seniors – Kelechi Osemele and Hayworth Hicks. The average weight of the other eight men on the first and second-string offensive lines is 289 pounds.

“You can have strength, but if you can’t move the rest of it isn’t good for anything,” guard Shaban Dika told the Ames Tribune recently.

Blocking is certainly power and strength and that won’t change. But, don’t discount athleticism as part of the equation. Iowa State’s coaches sure aren’t.

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