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Iowa State linebacker Colby Reeder enjoying life as a 25-year-old rookie in the program
Delaware transfer is welcomed in Ames
AMES — Iowa State linebacker Colby Reeder has been on a college football roster since 2016. He’s 25. He’s already earned his MBA and he’ll be lining up to play for his fourth different defensive coordinator, Jon Heacock, this fall. So Reeder, a graduate transfer from Delaware, has pretty much seen and done it all — but none of that prepared him for the tense and mercurial nature of the transfer portal.
“I only had 10 days, maybe two weeks to make a decision,” Reeder said. “So when I went in the portal, I was just fielding all the phone calls and everything. (Cyclones linebackers coach Tyson) Veidt flew out twice to Delaware and we kind of connected. I got to get out on the official (visit) and I just really loved what they were doing here. All the people who make up this organization — I just kind of felt at home.”
A new, but welcomed one. Reeder was a redshirt freshman the same season ISU head coach Matt Campbell and his staff began to rebuild the program. Both he and the Cyclones have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t faced a learning curve in Ames.
“It’s a bit of a transition,” said Reeder, who notched 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks along with an interception in eight games last season. “A lot different than where I’m from. It’s a bigger level of football. It’s a whole different area of the country, but the transition’s been good. The support staff has been really good getting me up to speed and getting me going here. I’m starting to get a lot more comfortable here.”
He’s had plenty of help. Fifth-year senior and former Cedar Rapids Washington star O’Rien Vance and Gerry Vaughn have helped him carve out a niche in the Cyclones’ mostly new-look linebackers room — especially Vance, who will turn 23 in a month and has grown as a leader within the program.
“He’s been there, done that, succeeded and started a lot of games here,” Reeder said. “He’s been able to help me a lot in the transition. He’s a great dude and a great player. I have nothing but good things to say about him, but he’s really helped me from day one, just getting me in the film room and start teaching me the defense — just sharing all his knowledge.”
Reeder’s sharing what he knows, too.
“Not to overstate it, but (he has) a patience and a poise level,” Heacock said. “He is a veteran, so he doesn’t get crazy about things that he doesn’t know. He’s smart enough to know what he doesn’t know. … He’s a veteran player that doesn’t get too high or too low. He just continues to work and play well.”
That’s why he’s happy in his new home — and working to spruce it up along with everyone else.
“The team is so much more bought in, honestly, than what I’m used to,” Reeder said. “Everyone’s working out extra. Everyone’s watching extra film. Everyone’s helping me along. Coaches are putting in all the extra work. Older players are putting in all the extra work, which is a testament to the future here. I’m really not used to having so many people wanting me to succeed and going out of their way to help me. So that’s been awesome.”