Game Changers: Iowa State’s RB’s and LB’s

In the heart of Ames, Iowa, Iowa State’s football program is undergoing some significant changes, particularly in the crucial positions of running back and linebacker. With Spring practices underway, there’s a fresh energy pulsating through the team, fueled in part by the arrival of Tyler Roehl as the new assistant head coach overseeing the running backs. Roehl, a revered figure with a championship-filled resume from his tenure with the Bison, steps into a role where he will guide a young but promising group of running backs. Additionally, the linebacker unit sees the return of a familiar face in Colby Kratch, setting the stage for an intriguing build-up to the upcoming season.

New Faces, New Expectations
The introduction of Tyler Roehl to the coaching staff is more than a new assignment; it’s a strategic move aimed at elevating Iowa State’s running game. Roehl’s experience, which includes an impressive collection of seven FCS national titles, not just as a coach but also as a player, promises to infuse the program with a winning mentality. His primary task is to develop the young talents of sophomores Abu Sama III and Carson Hansen, who both made significant contributions in their freshman year.

A Linebacker’s Homecoming
On the defense, the spotlight turns to the linebackers, where Colby Kratch makes a noteworthy return to Iowa State after a brief spell at North Texas. His prior experience, spanning over six seasons under Campbell’s leadership, positions him as an ideal successor to Tyson Veidt. Kratch’s homecoming is not just a return to familiar territory; it’s a reinforcement of the coaching staff’s depth and expertise, specifically within the defensive unit.

Players to Watch
The focus on individual talent shines on the likes of sophomores Jack Sadowsky V and Will McLaughlin, who are coming off an impressive season where they started all 13 games for the Cyclones. Their performance and growth will be critical as they aim to anchor the linebacker positions under the guidance of Kratch. The combination of Sadowsky’s and McLaughlin’s capabilities and Kratch’s strategic planning sets a high bar for the defense.

Looking Ahead
With spring practices serving as a pivotal period of assessment and development, Iowa State’s approach to addressing the changes in its running back and linebacker units paints a picture of a team in transition, yet filled with optimism. The integration of proven champions like Roehl into the coaching staff, coupled with the strategic return of Kratch, underscores a deliberate effort to blend experience with burgeoning talent. As the Cyclones gear up for the challenges ahead, the spotlight will undoubtedly remain on how these new dynamics translate into success on the field.

At “Fifth Quarter,” we’ll continue to cover Iowa State’s journey through the spring and into the season, bringing you up-to-date insights on the team’s progress and how these strategic moves fare in the highly competitive landscape of college football.