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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Jantz Develops Anticipation and Readiness Skills During Camp

Courtesy: cyclones.com
Release: 08/19/2011
         
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AMES, Iowa - A quick release and fast footwork were already part of Iowa State football player Steele Jantz's game when he arrived in Ames. Expanding on those physical skills has been an element of the junior quarterback's transition to Iowa State. His decision-making skills make Jantz a top contender for the Cyclones' starting spot.

After over two weeks of practice, Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Herman is impressed with Jantz's anticipation and awareness in the pocket.

"Steele never made bad decisions with the football in the spring, but he didn't always make timely decisions and was forced to scramble or run and be late with the throw," Herman said. "His anticipation has improved and because of his decision-making skills he's getting the ball out on time."

A native of Agoura Hills, Calif., Jantz's transition to Iowa State was a big one, but getting to know his teammates has made the process a smooth one. Jantz transferred from City College of San Francisco where he was the starting quarterback in 2010, and led the Rams to an 11-1 record.

"We are so busy right now there isn't much else going on besides football," Jantz said. "So I'm looking forward to classes starting. I've had a great time in Ames so far."

The Cyclones have been eating and breathing football since reporting on August 3, but Jantz says the closeness with his teammates makes workouts and training sessions enjoyable. As with all Iowa State quarterbacks, Herman stresses the importance of gaining the respect of one's teammates. Jantz understands how crucial trust is at the quarterback position, and has become familiar with his teammates' tendencies on the field.

"Knowing your teammates is really important mainly because not only do you have to trust them but they have to trust you," Jantz said. "So the better you know each other the better we'll be."

Also in the running for the team's lead signal caller is redshirt junior Jerome Tiller and redshirt freshman Jared Barnett. Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads hopes to choose a quarterback Saturday.

Slightly taller and heavier than the other quarterback candidates, Jantz's physical abilities are what caught Herman's eye in the 2010 season. Jantz threw for 3,075 yards and 23 touchdowns for City College of San Francisco and rushed for 601 yards with the Rams.

"The kid can run," Herman said. "His first two steps are really quick and when he decides to run he’s got a good burst and a real quick three step."

If Jantz is going to carry the team as the starting signal caller, the 6-foot-3-inch, 224-pounder plans to use his mind even more than his physical abilities to be successful. For now, Jantz is living by the practice makes perfect motto and spends time watching film and correcting his mistakes.

The season is just two weeks away.
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