Receivers coach Nathan Scheelhaase talks about Tarique Milton
Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Nate’s a star in the making in the coaching profession.”
That’s what Iowa State coach Matt Campbell told reporters during Tuesday’s weekly news conferece.
They’re words that shouldn’t be glossed over.
Nate Scheelhaase has done such a good job in Year 1 of coaching Cyclones receivers that the Brock Purdy-led passing offense is seventh nationally heading into Saturday’s 3 p.m. game at West Virginia. Deshaunte Jones is seventh in the nation with an average of just more then seven receptions per game.
Obviously, a lot of it is thanks to Purdy, but don’t discount the job Sheelhaase’s receivers have done, either.
When star assistant Lou Ayeni went back to his Northwestern roots a couple years ago, Campbell snapped up Scheelhaase from Illinois to coach David Montgomery and the others in the Cyclones running back room. When Bryan Gasser and Campbell split after last season, Campbell shifted the versatile Scheelhaase to the receivers room, where he oversees the transition to life after Hakeem Butler.
“What you see, is you see us probably catching the ball maybe as good as we have over the last couple of years,” Campbell said. “Nate’s done a great job of that detail piece of it, which I think is really, really important.”
“One thing about Nate is, being a former (Illinois) quarterback, he’s got such a great understanding of what the quarterbacks expect of the wide receiver, and I think that’s really big.”
Scheelhaase, by the way, is 28 years old. He’s done well as a recruiter, too — he was one of the assistants involved with getting running backs Breece Hall and Jirehl Brock to choose Iowa State.
TOPIC: What Colin Newell’s likely return means to others on the offensive line
The guys who started the past five games — tackles Julian Good-Jones and Bryce Meeker, guards Trevor Downing and Josh Knipfel, and center Collin Olson — have played well since Newell sprained a knee in the opener against Northern Iowa. The guess here is that those players will continue to start. They’re playing at a high level, so I’d be surprised if Newell starts when he returns at West Virginia.
Campbell said Newell will play, but was a bit vague when asked at what position. Here’s one scenario: Newell fills in for Olson at center on some plays, Olson moves back to guard, Downing (a sophomore) goes to the sidelines and suddenly, the Cyclones have a solid six-player rotation of guys who can play multiple positions.
That’s the kind of depth Campbell and his staff have been building toward since they came to the school in 2016. It’s finally there.
Iowa State averages 8.4 yards per play, which is 13th nationally. The Cyclones’ 487.2-yard offense average is 15th. Their 327.6-yard passing average is seventh.
Translated: The line is good.
TOPIC: Purdy calling his own plays
Someone DM’d me, asking what’s actually a logical question: Will Purdy ever get to the point where he calls his own plays?
No; however, he has options on all play-calls, like all quarterbacks have.
Like with most good quarterbacks, Purdy’s sideline and halftime consultations are valuable.
“Coach (Joel) Gordon and him, you see it after every series, those guys are talking and communicating and adjusting from what the coach is seeing up in the box to what the coach is thinking, to what’s going on in the next series,” Campbell said. “Brock’s ability to process it and relay that information has been really positive for this team.”
TOPIC: Will Campbell’s kids play multiple sports?
After what the coach said on this subject Tuesday? If his children play sports in school, it will be multiple sports.
Here’s what he said:
“One of the great crimes we’re doing today with youths, especially youth sports, is we’ve gotten into this culture where, man, we have travel baseball and AAU basketball, and we’ve got these 7-on-7 leagues.
“The greatest ingredient you lose, is you lose competition and how to compete. You’re competing when you’re winning and losing and you’re figuring out a way to win. That’s what track teaches, it’s what wrestling teaches you, it’s what basketball teaches you, and it’s what baseball teaches you. So to me, that is a huge piece to our recruiting process, because it gives us at least one answer to the intangible that’s really important:
“How do you compete? How do you act when things don’t go well? How do you respond to adversity? We get to see it live and in color, and those things are really, really important to our staff — at least in our evaluation of a young person coming here.”
So, if Kaetlyn, Isabella, Rudy and Rocco Campbell are into youth sports, you can bet it’ll be more than one.
Randy Peterson is the Iowa State columnist for the Register. Reach him at email@example.com, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.
Source: Des Moines Register