Big 12: Scott Haughton

Cyclones dismiss starting OL

May, 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 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.

Big 12 players who need to come through this fall

May, 21, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

A host of key Big 12 players battled through a variety of maladies this spring as they missed practice in preparation for the upcoming season. Here's a look at some of the more notable players and what they need to do in order to bounce back strong when practice begins this summer.

Baylor WR David Gettis: Bothered by recurring hamstring pulls in the spring, Gettis needs to be healthy to fulfill his lofty promise that arrived before him. If not, he'll have trouble keeping pace with Kendall Wright, Ernest Smith and Justin Fenty in the Bears' developing rotation of wide receivers.

Colorado QB Tyler Hansen: Looked to be competing at a near equal basis with Cody Hawkins before he broke his right thumb in the spring game. He'll have to recover quickly from post-spring surgery if he wants to renew the competition when the Buffaloes report in August.

Iowa State T Scott Haughton: Didn't participate in spring practice while he addressed some academic issues. His return in the fall is critical for the Cyclones after making 11 starts last season.

Kansas RB Jocques Crawford: Heralded former national junior-college rushing leader fell into coach Mark Mangino's doghouse after he was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Jake Sharp and Rell Lewis have jumped far ahead in the rotation as Crawford's role for the Jayhawks remains uncertain.

Kansas State RB-S Logan Dold: After switching to defense late in practice, Dold was hampered by an undisclosed injury and did not appear in the Wildcats' spring game. He needs to be healthy to make a challenge for earning playing time either on offense or defense.

Missouri WR Jared Perry: Missed all contact work as he recovered from post-season shoulder surgery. His absence, along with that of Danario Alexander's recovery from knee surgery, might explain why Blaine Gabbert struggled in the Tigers' spring game.

Nebraska QB Kody Spano: His knee injury snuffed out any hopes of competing with Zac Lee for the starting job. Now, Lee appears entrenched and Spano will be facing big odds to move up the depth chart.

Oklahoma DE Auston English: English was the best speed pass-rusher in the Big 12 for most of the 2007 season before injuries cut his productivity. He still has that promise -- even as his struggled last season and missed the spring with a knee injury. But other talented defensive ends like Jeremy Beal and Frank Alexander have caught the attention of coaches, making it tougher to English to win his way back into the starting lineup.

Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant: His knee injury turned around the Cowboys' Holiday Bowl loss to Oregon. He's expected to return as normal after missing all of spring practice, although there is always a concern about a recovery from any kind of knee surgery.

Texas RB Cody Johnson: Appeared ready to claim the starting lineup midway through spring practice before injuring his left hamstring. He needs to return healthy and in shape to be able to hold off heralded freshman Chris Whaley and the other contenders among Texas running backs.

Texas A&M QB-WR Ryan Tannehill: His expected challenge against Jerrod Johnson for playing time at quarterback never materialized as Tannehill's spring practice was limited by a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. His lack of playing time at quarterback this spring could mean he heads back to receiver while also serving as Johnson's backup at quarterback.

Texas Tech DE McKinner Dixon: After the departure of Brandon Williams to the NFL, Dixon was counted to be the Red Raiders' top pass-rushing threat. But he got crossways with coach Mike Leach after falling behind academically. Leach said Dixon's return is doubtful, making the Red Raiders' biggest defensive concern that much more tenuous.

Iowa State recruiting needs

January, 21, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard turned to a familiar face when he hired former coach Paul Rhoads to replace Gene Chizik.

The Cyclones hope that Rhoads' previous knowledge of the Iowa State program, gleaned from a five-year career as an assistant there under Dan McCarney, will provide them a chance to return to a bowl game for the first time since 2005. It certainly won't hurt that Rhoads, who grew up in nearby Ankeny, Iowa, will be recruiting an area he knows well.

Whether that will translate into success remains to be seen. But it gives him a start in a massive rebuilding job from last season's 2-10 finish that included the first winless Big 12 conference record for a North Division team since 2003.

The Cyclones return nine offensive starters and seven defensive starters. But Rhoads knows that a talent upgrade is mandatory, particularly in the trenches. Freshman tackle Scott Haughton, freshman guard Kelechi Osemele and two other freshmen in the two-deep roster will be a starting point. But much more talent is needed.

Sophomore quarterback Austen Arnaud, sophomore running back Alexander Robinson and freshman wide receiver Darius Darks provide three key pieces to the start the building of a productive offense. But whether those players will mesh with former Rice coordinator Tom Herman's three-receiver offense philosophy remains to be seen. Herman likely will be more interested in recruiting players that will fit his grand scheme for an offense.

Rhoads promised at his introductory press conference that his defense "will hit you coming off the bus." But a talent infusion will be necessary considering the Cyclones ranked 110th or worse nationally in scoring defense, pass defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense last season.

Freshman All-American kick returner Leonard Johnson shows promise at cornerback. But the Cyclones need replacements for playmaking cornerback Chris Singletary and strong safety Brandon Hunley.

Rhoads will have his work cut out, but it's not impossible to succeed in carving a recruiting niche with his familiarity. Iowa native McCarney directed the Cyclones to an unprecedented five bowl games in six seasons and the cusp of a couple of North titles when he was there.

Pollard hopes that Rhoads can match the success of Iowa State's winningest coach -- and more.



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