I.S.U. offensive coordinator, Courtney Messingham.

Iowa State football players say they’ve been doing a lot of talking with their new offensive coordinator, and it isn’t all about X’s and O’s.

Cyclone runningback Jeff Woody says Courtney Messingham is funny guy who likes to crack jokes and that helps in learning what he wants done with the offense. Woody says Messingham is very approachable, and it’s nice.

Quarterback Jared Barnett says, “He’ll just start up a conversation with you about nothing, but you can site there and talk for 20 minutes.”

 Messingham replaced former offensive coordinator Tom Herman who left I.S.U. for Ohio State. Messingham says he’s tried to foster the open approach on other issues because they spend so much time with the players throughout the year just focusing on football.

“One of the things that we try to say from day one when we start recruiting someone, to once they get here, we’re gonna be demanding, we’re gonna expect you to do things right on and off the field. But we also want you to feel comfortable around us,” Messingham says. “We are around these guys too much all year long and obviously during the season, they are in our offices all the time. They need to be comfortable coming into the offices and not only talking football.”

When it comes to football, Messingham says his approach to the offense will be much the same as it has been.

Messingham say the average fans probably won’t notice a lot of difference in the offense. He says they’ll continue to focus on the run first, and look to take better advantage of the things the defense gives them.

Messingham says he wants his quarterback to be patient and take what the defense gives him. “If that means throwing hitch ten times in a row because they’re giving you a hitch, take that hitch ten times in a row, don’t try to force it down the field and make a poor decision,” Messingham says.

Iowa State opens the season at home against Tulsa on September first.