Iowa State defensive tackle Demond Tucker has lofty goals for himself and the Cyclone defense this season. The junior college All-American from Mississippi joins an ISU defense that gave up nearly 39 points and 246 yards of rushing per game in a 2-10 season in 2014.

Tucker says the Cyclone defense will shock everybody this season and went it’s over he wants to be the Big-12 Player of the Year on defense. Tucker says he believes he has the ability to fill that role and prays he stays healthy enough to reach that goal.

Tucker says the Iowa State defense will make major strides this season after looking at their weaknesses and filling in with some recruits. “I think once everybody gets on the same line, we will be a great defense this year,” Tucker says.

Tucker says he has been watching tape of this season’s opponents as a way to get ready for the season. He watches different schools every day and says he also watches other defensive linemen to see what he can draw from their techniques.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads says Tucker gives the Cyclones big play ability on the defensive line. “We haven’t had enough of it from our interior defensive linemen. It’s one thing to be in your gap, it’s one thing to use up a block, it’s another thing to do that and truly disrupt,” Rhoads says.

Rhoads says Tucker has that ability to be a disruptive influence up front by forcing a play to go where the offense doesn’t want it to go, or to alter what the quarterback is doing based on the rush.

Iowa State opens at home on September fifth against UNI.