So here are a few observations from ISU football coach Paul Rhoads’ press conference today, talking spring practice.

--As the Cyclones work their way toward Saturday’s public scrimmage, Rhoads thinks his team has been “intense” and “enthusiasm”. Never a bad thing.

--Rhoads says QB Sam Richardson has been more “commanding” this spring as the clear number-one signal-caller. Richardson says that status has given him more confidence to be a leader. He adds that he’s working on his accuracy.

--Rhoads admits the Cyclones’ defense is pretty young all the way around so it’s easy to see when players make “leaps and bounds” of improvement and when they show their shortcomings. He says the light goes on at different times for different players, but he doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for that to happen.

--Rhoads says the light has come on for the linebacking corps, a happy coincidence for a group looking to fill the giant shoes left by Jake Knott and A.J. Klein.

--Rhoads says his team has a lot of depth at running back despite the injury to Shontrelle Johnson. He says youngsters DeVondrick Nealy, Rob Standard and juco transfer Aaron Wimberly have show flashes of explosiveness while veteran James White has been steady. He also says Jeff Woody has been playing a variety of roles, moving to H-back or tight end at times.

--Rhoads says the kicking competition between incumbent Edwin Arceo and redshirt freshman Cole Netten is a “dead heat”. He says the two seem to have bad days and good days on the same days.

Rhoads also previewed Saturday’s spring scrimmage a bit but we’ll save that for later in the week, o.k.?