Rhoads notes that great teams have great lines and that’s a spring focus

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As people rate the prospects for the 2012 Iowa State team, much of the focus will be on the quarterback competition. That’s natural.

Coach Paul Rhoads, however, wants to see significant development on both lines.

“If you’ve going to have a great football team, it will consist of good line play on both sides,” Rhoads said the first week of camp.

The Cyclones are trying to replace Kelechi Osemele and Hayworth Hicks on the offensive side and Jake Lattimer, Patrick Neal and Stephen Ruempolhamer from the defensive trenches.

“We’ll be as deep as we’ve ever been on the offensive line,” Rhoads said. “And, I really like the look of the defensive line.”

Bill Bleil tutors the blockers and he is excited about team depth.

“We have seven guys with a lot of reps and they feel comfortable in what we’re doing,” Bleil said. “We’ll get the five best on the field and the competition at all spots is good.”

Curtis Bray is one of the assistants who works with the defensive line and he is also optimistic.

“We’re better on the inside and not as experienced on the edge,” Bray said. “But we’ve got several great athletes with much better speed on the outside.”

Somebody will win the quarterback duel in time.

But, Rhoads and company are equally focused on protecting that QB and getting pressure on the opponent’s signal-caller. Games are won, after all, in the trenches.

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

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