Iowa State’s football coach says one of his biggest players is finally “coming out of his shell” — and it’s a pretty big shell. Six-foot-seven inch offensive lineman Aaron Brant weighs 315 pounds. Cyclone coach Dan McCarney describes Brant as a “quiet giant” who in his first two seasons on the team wanted to lead by example. “But he has slowly but surely started to emerge verbally,” McCarney says. “He’s slowly, I think, but surely coming out of his shell as a leader. As a player, he’s been out of his shell for a long time.” McCarney says he knew he had something special in Brant when the Wisconsin native who went to school at Dubuque Wahlert committed to Iowa State before his junior year in high school. Brant finished high school a semester early and enrolled in Iowa State so he could participate in spring drills. He started on the offensive line as a true freshman and McCarney says Brant is perhaps destined to be one of Iowa State’s best offensive lineman. “He’s not there yet, but he’s well on track,” McCarney says. Brant, a junior, is not sure he’s a team leader yet, but he does feel a heavy responsibility because he’s one of the few upper classmen on the youth-laden squad. “You know, you feel it slowly sitting on your shoulders,” Brant says. “But at the same time it’s part of the game and it’s part of the responsibility that you have to take.” He’s anxious to get this season started. “Last season…we were coming off a 2-10 season and, you know, we really didn’t know what to expect. The only thing we did know is that the only way to go was up,” Brant says. “This season, we know we can accomplish things. We know we have the talent. We know we have the players. We know we have the drive…Everyone’s just excited to get going.” Brant enters the season with the same goal’s he had every season. “You’ve just got to improve the little things and help bring along the other guys, you know, help build the team chemistry because that’s what’s going to get you places,” he says. Brant’s coach loves his work ethic. Brant grew up on a farm and McCarney says he knows what hard work really is — slopping hogs, baling hay and cleaning the chicken house. Last year, Brant moved from guard to tackle on the offensive line and he’s started all but two games during his first two seasons at Iowa State. He’s a good student, too, studying for a business degree.
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