AMES, Iowa – A total of 13 former Iowa State football players are hoping to keep their dreams alive by participating in NFL Training Camps this preseason.
The list features veterans Tim Dobbins (Houston Texans), Seneca Wallace (New Orleans Saints) and Ahtyba Rubin (Cleveland Browns), but of the 13 Cyclone NFL hopefuls, eight are entering their rookie or second seasons in the league: Carter Bykowski (San Francisco 49ers-rookie), A.J. Klein (Carolina Panthers-rookie), Jake Knott (Philadelphia Eagles-rookie), Jake McDonough (New York Jets-rookie), Josh Lenz (Chicago Bears-rookie), Leonard Johnson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers-2nd year), Kelechi Osemele (Baltimore Ravens-2nd year) and Hayworth Hicks (Carolina Panthers-2nd year).
This fact affirms the improvement ISU has made in producing NFL-caliber talent under head coach Paul Rhoads. ISU had two players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft in Klein (5th round) and Bykowski (7th round) to go along with free agents Lenz, Knott and McDonough. The possibility of adding five first-year Cyclones to the NFL would be one of the biggest crops in school history.
Osemele and Johnson are fresh off of outstanding rookie seasons in the NFL. Osemele, a 2011 All-American offensive lineman, started every game for the Ravens in their Super Bowl Championship season, earning NFL All-Rookie honors along the way.
Johnson, an All-Big 12 corner for the Cyclones from 2008-11, went undrafted in 2012, but made the Buccaneers roster as a free agent. He forged his way into the starting lineup by the end of the season and became a leader in the Bucs secondary.
Cyclones Participating in NFL Training Camps
Carter Bykowski- San Francisco 49ers
Tim Dobbins- Houston Texans
Hayworth Hicks- Carolina Panthers
Leonard Johnson- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A.J. Klein- Carolina Panthers
Jake Knott- Philadelphia Eagles
Josh Lenz- Chicago Bears
Jake McDonough- New York Jets
Kelechi Osemele- Baltimore Ravens
Ahtyba Rubin- Cleveland Browns
David Sims- Philadelphia Eagles
Reggie Stephens- Baltimore Ravens
Seneca Wallace- New Orleans Saints