Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Iowa State Cyclones.
"Redshirt freshman Cole Netten and senior Edwin Arceo have been pushing each other for the first week of practice, making if hard for coach Paul Rhoads to make a definitive selection for the spot. '(There has been) much more consistent work out of both those guys right now and that will probably be a game-week call,' Rhoads said. Arceo views the deciding factor in the battle coming down to one thing: Consistency. 'Camp is comparable to a season because it’s long, it’s hard and during the season you’ll have ups and downs,' Arceo said. 'But it’s all about how you react.' Netten realizes the importance of the competition, but at the end of the day, he also is cognizant of the bigger picture. 'Obviously, we’re both trying to get the starting position, but at the same time, we both know that. We go into practice not only fighting for the job, but also helping each other because we’re pretty good team players,' Netten said. 'Whoever is put out there on the field, we’re going to want that person to do the best they can to help Iowa State succeed'.”Kicker: Edwin Arceo, senior (Muscatine, IA / Iowa Central / Muscatine HS)
2012: started season as a walk-on and won the starting nod in fall practice …Hit on 12-of-18 field goal attempts and 37-of-40 extra point tries … made a career-long 51-yard field goal attempts against Oklahoma and at Kansas … made 23 touchbacks on kickoffs.Kicker: Cole Netten, freshman (Ankeny, IA / Ankeny HS)
2012: Redshirted initial collegiate season.Spring Scrimmage:
High School: Ranked as 10th-best prospect in Iowa in the class of 2012 by rivals.com … four-year letterwinner … 2011 as a senior, converted 11-of-14 field goal attempts with a long of 47 yards … made 48-of-51 PATs … 64 of his 73 kickoffs in 2011 went for touchbacks
“I’m not sure,” Arceo said when asked who was ahead in the race. “I think after this spring season it isn’t going to be decided until the fall.” Arceo had a shaky start to Saturday’s scrimmage. He missed his first attempt from 45 yards before watching Netten drill the same kick one snap later as ISU coaches allowed both kickers to attempt all but one of the field goals. Later in the first half, Arceo was wide left on a 29-yard attempt, and Netten split the uprights. But as things have gone for HC Paul Rhoads and his kicking game, things got better for Arceo and worse for Netten in the second half. At the end of the first half, Netten was only kicker allowed to try a 50-yard attempt, and it sailed wide left. But with nine seconds left in the third quarter, Areco redeemed himself by easily making a 53-yard attempt. “It was big,” Arceo said of the kick. “It was a little confidence-booster. I was thinking I already missed two and that was way too much.” Netten, on his 53-yard attempt, fell about 10 yards short. When presented with the question of who came out better Saturday, Rhoads smiled and said, “one early and then it switched and such is the life of kickers and making decisions on kickers for the most part.” Rhoads went on to say both kickers had their moments during spring practice, saying Arceo was sharp during the final week leading up to the spring scrimmage, and Netten had several moments of being smooth and hitting balls consistently well.Kicker: Mitch Amundson, junior (Sioux City, IA / East HS)
Has been a squad meber the past two season and was redshirted in 2010.Punter: Kirby Van Der Kamp, senior (West Des Moines, IA / Valley HS)
"The preseason honors [several All-American teams, Ray Guy watch list] are nice, but Van Der Kamp knows the regular season is where it counts. 'It’s a great honor to receive those accolades,' Van Der Kamp said. 'It shows all the hard work I’ve put in. I always look at it as something that I have to prove. I can receive those awards preseason, but it really doesn’t mean anything until the end of the year.' Van Der Kamp is already established as one of the greatest punters in school history. He has a career 42.8 yards per punt average, which ranks second on ISU’s career chart behind Marc Harris, who averaged 43.1 ypp from 1993-96. However, there’s more to a quality punter than just a high average. Great punters possess a precision touch with their feet where the placement of a punt is more important than its length. Nobody was better at this than Van Der Kamp last season, leaving 29 of his 77 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. It’s a skill Van Der Kamp has spent years crafting. 'It’s a lot of repetition and just doing it over and over again,' Van Der Kamp said. 'It’s a lot of just letting your body do its thing. A kicker or a punter’s worst enemy is thinking. The more you think, the worse you do. It’s about getting those reps in and letting the muscle memory take over in a game.'Punter: Holden Kramer, freshman (West Des Moines, IA / Valley HS)
Van Der Kamp has plenty of lofty goals in store for the 2013 season. Goals for his team, however, will come first. He will cherish every time he takes the field at Jack Trice Stadium in his final year. 'It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling,' Van Der Kamp said of his final tour of duty as a Cyclone. 'I’m excited to be a senior and step-up to be a leader on this team. I’ve had a great time here and couldn’t ask for anything better. I know that last game is going to be pretty hard for me'.”
"Prior to arriving at Iowa State, I was lifting at my high school based on the summer lifting book ISU provided us with. I was also punting 4 to 5 times a week to keep my leg strong and my technique sound. Currently being apart of the Iowa State summer lifting program, we lift 3 times a week and will begin to run 3 times a week compared to only twice a week prior to the 4th of July. Currently I punt and receive live snaps from Dalton Gilbert who has also just joined the program."Long snapper: Spencer Thornton, junior (Marion, IA / Cedar Rapids Washington HS)
Returning starter who played in 12 games last year.Long snapper: Luke Sims, sophomore (Centennial, CO / Cherry Creek HS)
A squad member last year; was redshirted in 2011.Long snapper: Tanner Tusha, freshman (Clear Lake, IA / Clear Lake)
Long snapper: Jake Rhoads, freshman (Ames, IA / Gilbert High School)2012: Redshirted initial collegiate season.
High School: Three-year letterwinner … team captain and first-team all-district and second-team all-state linebacker as a senior … also earned letters in basketball (two), track (four) and baseball (four).
High School: Three-time letter winner ... was a state qualifier in wrestling.Long snapper: Dalton Gilbert, freshman (Leon, IA / Central Decatur HS)
"The newcomers have been lifting and running every morning since we have came in. Holden, the new punter, and I have got together and snapped and kicked a few times, but for now we are working in the weight room. My expectations for this fall are unclear. I think I will figure it out once camp rolls around, but for now I want to see the field, whether it comes from covering a kickoff, getting in at LB, or snapping."