Mike Rose interception

Iowa State linebacker Mike Rose intercepts a deflected pass during the Iowa State and Oklahoma State game Oct. 24 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The national recognition for Iowa State football continues to flood the program this summer. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall were named to the preseason Maxwell Award Watch List, which honors the best player in college football. Additionally, Purdy was named to the Davey O’Brian Watch List for the best quarterback, and Hall was named to the Doak Walker Watch List for the best running back. Senior linebacker Mike Rose and junior defensive end Will McDonald IV were named to the preseason Bednarik Award Watch List, awarded to the nation's best defensive player. 

Purdy, now a four-year starter in Ames, has shattered the record books for Iowa State quarterbacks. Hall, a projected first-round pick in next year's NFL Draft, led college football in rushing last season with 1,572 yards, along with 23 total touchdowns. He was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award last season. The two will head one of the best offenses in the country and are seen as potential Heisman candidates.

Rose comes off a season in which he won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and has been given the preseason honor for that as well for this season. McDonald was one of the best pass rushers in the country last season, as he was tied for the lead with 10.5 sacks. Iowa State looks to once again have one of the better defenses in the Big 12.

The prestigious preseason honors come as the Cyclones prepare for an expectations-filled 2021 season. ESPN has Iowa State ranked sixth nationally in their preseason Top 25 poll. The Cyclones return most of last year's team, led by these four star players. These players' success this season will play a large role in how far the team will go.

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