Spring football is underway at Iowa State where the Cyclones are coming off a 5-7 record in which they missed out on a bowl trip in Paul Rhoads second year at the helm. A total of 12 starters are back from last year’s squad and he says he is very pleased with the development of the players and the program.

Rhoads says he is excited about the competition that is going to take place in spring ball, particularly at quarterback, offensive line, wider receiver and safety positions. Without a bowl trip it was a longer off season for the Cyclones and Rhoads says they are anxious to return to the practice field.

He says his objectives this spring are developing playmakers on offense that can make things happen regardless of what their scheme is. Rhoads also wants to see the front four develop more to be able to put pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback.

Rhoads says the race at quarterback is wide open and four candidates are in the race to replace Austen Arnaud. Junior Jerome Tiller has three career starts and Steele Jantz put up big numbers in the junior college ranks in California. He says you need three ingredients to play quarterback in their system, leadership, intelligence and decision making.

Rhoads says you have to be able to make the right decisions and be able to make the right throws and also be able to escape with you feet. He says the players that are the most successful in those things will rise to the top. Rhoads says any “upstart” program has a quarterback who can produce, and he says they will be no different.

A tough schedule awaits the Cyclones in 2011. UCONN is on the non-conference schedule and with the Big-12 going to a round-robin format all of the former South Division teams are on the slate. Iowa State’s spring game is April 16th.