When people talk about Iowa State’s formula for football success, they sometimes point to Bill Snyder’s Kansas State program as one to emulate.
Rhoads shared some thoughts about the coaching career of Snyder Monday.
“Just a first-class, high-integrity professional,” Rhoads said of Snyder. “I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for what he has done… a huge amount.”
Both men believe in playing fundamentally sound football. Both head coaches also believe in training and developing their talent until it’s ready for game action.
As such, cornerback Nigel Tribune is the only Cyclone true freshman to play this fall.
“It has not been a desire to keep true freshmen (off the field) to save that year,” Rhoads said. “It’s been more a matter of if they’re ready or not.”
Tribune, in fact, is the only true freshman to play from Iowa State’s last 2 recruiting classes.
“You’ve got 2 things you are looking at,” Rhoads said. “Is there an immediate need where you don’t have a choice – Jake Knott, A.J. Klein and Jeremy Reaves (for example) – and is the guy too good that you can’t afford to keep him on the bench?”
Interestingly, Snyder is using just one true freshman (DE Jordan Willis) this year as well. Both the Cyclones and Wildcats have played three junior college transfers.
ISU and K-State are at the low end of the range as it relates to playing freshmen from the ’13 recruiting class.
While the Cyclones and Wildcats have used one freshman each, Oklahoma (9), Oklahoma State (8), Texas Tech (8) and TCU (6) have utilized the most first-year freshmen. West Virginia and Kansas have not played many freshmen, but have used 10 and 9 JC transfers, respectively, in 2013.
“We’ll continue that same philosophy as we go forward,” Rhoads said about putting young guys on the field.
He may as well have been speaking for Snyder, too.