Joel Lanning, formerly Iowa State's top QB, now working as starting LB

Dr. Saturday
Iowa State’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/227145/" data-ylk="slk:Joel Lanning">Joel Lanning</a> (7) started 14 games at QB over the past two seasons. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Iowa State’s Joel Lanning (7) started 14 games at QB over the past two seasons. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Joel Lanning has been working with Iowa State’s starters during spring practice, but he’s doing it on the other side of the ball.

Lanning, who has started a combined 14 games at quarterback for the Cyclones over the past two seasons, has been the team’s top option at middle linebacker during recent practices. According to the Des Moines Register, Lanning said he hadn’t played linebacker since the eighth grade, but the redshirt senior is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team.

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His presence at linebacker doesn’t mean he won’t contribute on offense as well. Jacob Park emerged at quarterback late in 2016 for ISU, but Lanning still saw time at the position, mainly as a runner. He envisions that continuing.

“Hopefully I’m the starting MIKE (linebacker) and I’m getting my reps on offense when they call me in there. Coach Campbell told me if everything works out, ‘You’re probably going to be throwing up after all the games because you’ll be playing so much,’” Lanning told reporters.

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Lanning started the first nine games of the 2016 season for the Cyclones and threw for 1,290 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Even with Park, a Georgia transfer, moving into the starting role, Lanning continued to make an impact late in the year, especially his 171-yard, five touchdown rushing performance in a win over Texas Tech.

Earlier in spring practice, Cyclones coach Matt Campbell said Lanning could potentially see time at other offensive positions. Lanning mentioned special teams as a possibility as well.

Iowa State, which went 3-9 in his first season under Campbell, will play its spring game on April 8. Perhaps then we’ll get our first glimpse of Lanning the linebacker in that game.

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