The top 10 players returning to the Iowa State Cyclones for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Brock Purdy, QB
2. Breece Hall, RB
3. Charlie Kolar, TE
4. Mike Rose Jr., LB
5. Greg Eisworth, S
6. Tarique Milton, WR
7. Trevor Downing, G
8. O'Rien Vance, LB
9. Anthony Johnson, CB
10. Arnold Azunna, S
Honorable Mention: Lawrence White, S; JaQuan Bailey, DE; Zach Peterson, DE; Eyioma Uwazurike, DE
A bigger Purdy fan outside of Ames, Iowa I defy you to find. Purdy quite literally has every tool a quarterback needs to see success at any level. He can make every throw on the field with relative ease. He has elite-level athleticism as well and plays with tremendous poise both from a clean pocket and when under duress.
From within the structure and on rhythm, Purdy is as diabolical as anyone else in the country. If the play breaks down and he has to improvise, there are few better than Purdy. He can beat defenders with his arm or his legs just the same but he's deadliest with his arm, and particularly when looking over the middle of the field.
Hall broke out a year ago and looks like every bit of the 'next great' running back from the Matt Campbell factory that is. Campbell has churned out the likes of Kareem Hunt, David Montgomery and it looks like Hall will be the next one to make the NFL leap, but not until the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kolar returns to Ames as perhaps one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the country and he has a terrific set of blocking skills to boot. Milton is a big-play threat and should see the benefit of Purdy's throwing ability once again.
Then, on defense, these Cyclones will be paced by Rose once again as he is a true roaming linebacker who can make all the plays. His best attributes may be when he blitzes as he routinely times it perfectly and comes away with a hurry at the very least. In coverage, Rose is just as good there as well and is perhaps the second-best cover defender on his team.
Eisworth is the best in coverage, however, and he returns a year after nearly 10 plays on the ball and limiting the big plays routinely. Johnson and Azunna round out a terrific secondary that should be a complete terror to quarterbacks.
Vance is a similar type to Rose and if he can limit tackling mistakes, he can be one of the better conference linebackers.
No matter which way you slice it, though, Purdy will carry this team in 2020.