Senior wide receiver Deshaunte Jones will be the most experienced receiver for the Cyclones, who replaced Hakeem Butler and Matthew Eaton this season.

Without Hakeem Butler and Matthew Eaton, the Iowa State receiving corp will feature several players are inexperienced or are in new roles.

Veteran Dashaunte Jones and promising underclassman Tarique Milton are the only two players named as de facto starters, as three players will compete for the starting spot as the Z receiver.

Butler was the team's go-to option in the passing game and pulled in over 1,000 receiving yards as the starting X receiver while Eaton was a reliable secondary option on the perimeter and was the team's starting Z receiver.

Aside from catching passes, Iowa State’s receivers are expected to be involved as blockers. Butler and Eaton both worked as blockers — and were often times able to physically dominate smaller defensive backs — which helped open running lanes for Cyclone ball carriers.

Deshaunte Jones


Deshaunte Jones, now a senior, has been a contributor on the Iowa State offense since his freshman year and has over 1,000 career receiving yards.

Senior Deshaunte Jones is the most experienced receiver on Iowa State’s roster, and has 108 receptions and 1,175 receiving yards in his career. He had 43 catches, 366 yards and four receiving touchdowns — the second most of any receiver behind Butler, who had nine.

On the Cyclones' early-season depth chart, Jones is listed as the top option as the team’s M receiver. The M receiver is primarily the team's slot receiver.

Tarique Milton


Tarique Milton is listed as Iowa State's starter as the X receiver, a position previously held by Hakeem Butler, on the team's early depth chart.

Taking over for Butler as the X receiver is sophomore Tarique Milton, who was second on the team in receiving yards as a redshirt freshman last season. Milton registered 34 catches, 417 yards and a touchdown. Butler led the team in receiving yards last season with 1,318.

At 5 feet 10 inches tall, Milton doesn’t have the height of Iowa State’s previous X receiver, who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, or Allen Lazard, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall. Milton did display the ability to beat defensive backs deep and to create separation in running routes.

Depending on opponents' defensive schemes, Milton will be facing other teams’ top defensive back options and won’t have Butler drawing extra defenders; he will need to show he can still create separation in his routes.

Sean Shaw Jr.

The youngest of the three players competing for the starting Z receiver spot this summer, Shean Shaw Jr. is only a redshirt freshman, but he has tremendous size at 6 feet 6 inches tall.

A three-star recruit, Shaw was the 91st-best receiver in the class of 2018 according to 247Sports. Besides Iowa State, Shaw also had offers from Southern Methodist and Kansas.

As a high school senior in Oklahoma, Shaw reeled in 65 catches for 1,162 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Jalen Martin


Jalen Martin has been on Iowa State's roster longer than any other player competing for the starting Z receiver spot.

Senior Jalen Martin, who is competing for the starting Z receiver position, has been on the Cyclones’ roster more than the other two players. Martin played in four games last season — primarily on special teams — and didn’t record a reception, but Martin did have more of an impact in 2017.

He played all 13 games for Iowa State on special teams and recorded his first career reception against Kansas. Against the Jayhawks, Martin finished with two receptions for 22 yards.

La’Michael Pettway

A graduate transfer from Arkansas, La'Michael Pettway will play his last collegiate season next year, and will compete with Shaw and Martin for the starting spot at Z.

At Arkansas, Pettway played in 12 games and led the team with 30 receptions and 499 receiving yards, and also tallied four touchdowns.

Pettway is the most experienced of the three players competing for the starting Z role, and Pettway could quickly establish himself as the starter if he can get a firm grasp on Iowa State’s offensive system.

Landen Akers

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Landon Akers will be Deshaunte Jones' primary backup after reeling in 10 reception in the 2018 season.

Redshirt junior Landen Akers will be Jones’ primary backup at the slot position, and he will be able to provide depth and experience as the team’s No. 2 option.

Akers had 10 catches for 181 yards last season.

Joseph Scates

Joseph Scates, a redshirt freshman, will be competing with sophomore Darren Wilson to be Milton’s backup as the X receiver.

Scates was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and was the 44th-best receiver in the nation, according to 247Sports.

As a high school senior, Scates had 37 catches, 966 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns receptions.

Scates was one of four freshman suspended last season by the coaching staff after "multiple instances of poor choices and behavior" according to coach Matt Campbell.

Darren Wilson

Wilson transferred to Iowa State from Butler Community College in Kansas after playing just one season there. Wilson was ranked as the No. 74 junior college recruit in the country by 247Sports, and held offers from West Virginia and Buffalo before committing to Iowa State.

At Butler Community College, Wilson played in 10 games and had 20 catches for 390 yards.

Other position breakdowns:

Running back


Running back Kene Nwangwu protects the ball against West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson Jr. on Oct. 13 at Jack Trice Stadium.

Defensive tackle/nose tackle

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Iowa State's Ray Lima was named to the 2019 Preseason All-Big 12 Team.

Tight end


Then freshman quarterback Brock Purdy and redshirt freshman Charlie Kolar celebrate after Purdy ran the ball for a touch down during the first half of the Iowa State vs Baylor football game Nov. 10, 2018.

Defensive end

Jaquan Bailey West Virginia 2018

Defensive end JaQuan Bailey goes to tackle West Virginia quarterback Will Grier on Oct. 13, 2018. Iowa State's defensive end corps is one of the deepest positional groups on the team.



Then-freshman quarterback Brock Purdy warms up during a timeout in the second half of the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29. Purdy continued on to be Iowa State's unquestioned starter entering the 2019 season.

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