Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads has named senior Steele Jantz as the Cyclones starting quarterback for their September first opener against Tulsa. Jantz started seven games a year ago and edged out sophomore Jared Barnett for the job.
“In an ideal world, Steele would take this job and run with it, and he’d be our starting quarterback for 13 games this season…that would be the ideal situation,” Rhoads says.
Rhoads says he’s not sure if he will put Barnett into the game just to get his feet wet and get him some work.
Rhoads says Jantz excelled in all the key areas during pre-season practice and his ability to scramble and run adds another dimension to the offense.
“As an ex-defensive coordinator, it’s scary when a quarterback takes off and ad-libs. Whether it’s via scramble and throws, via scramble and runs, or what he can do with the designed runs of our offense. Steele is a threat, there’s no doubt about it,” Rhoads says. He says he didn’t think Jantz was a great runner last year, but they’ve addressed that and he is a better runner right now.
Barnett started six games last season and Rhoads says the Garland, Texas native needs to be ready in case he is called on. “The whole football team has seen it play out on the field and I think Jared had and idea that this was probably going to be the decision based on what happened,” Rhoads says. “It serves as motivation to him, he knows he’s got to be ready, he saw what happened last year and the opportunity that was provided to him and he’ll approach his job that way as we move forward.”