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Cyclones dismiss starting OL

5/19/2010

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced the dismissal of starting lineman Scott Haughton on Wednesday.

Details about the dismissal were not provided, but the hole Haughton leaves behind won't be easily filled. The 6-foot-3, 337-pound right tackle started four games as a true freshman before taking over and starting all 13 games as a sophomore in 2009.

Drew Davis, a 6-foot-8, 337-pound sophomore could help replace Haughton, or Rhoads could turn to junior John Caspers (6-foot-6, 295) or senior Sean Smith (6-foot-4, 294).

But the player with the most to lose with Haughton's dismissal is the player whose path Haughton has cleared for the past two seasons: Alexander Robinson.

Iowa State's offensive line gave up just 16 sacks in 2009, third fewest in the Big 12, and helped Robinson rush for 1,195 yards last season, second most in the Big 12.

"The single reason alone was the O-line," Robinson told ESPN.com last month. "The offensive line did a tremendous job, and honestly, they don’t get enough credit. Everybody sees that I had 1,000 yards, but everything starts up front with them and they did a tremendous job all season."

Obviously, no time is a good time for a starting lineman to go down, and the first-team reps Haughton took up during the spring have now been apparently wasted, barring his reinstatement. But Iowa State's line will have the rest of the summer to prepare for preseason camp, when those first-team reps will likely be divided, at least at the start of practice. The earlier a starter emerges, the better.