The 1990s. The era of Walden has risen and fallen, and the McCarney dynasty is starting its meteoric rise at the end of the decade. Below are scenes, magazines and other things found related to Cyclone Football in the 1990s.
Keith Sims – 1990 NFL Draft – 2nd Round, 39th Overall – Miami Dolphins
Sims made his way onto the starting Cyclone offensive line as a true freshman in 1986, and would start 44 games in his Cyclone career. He paved the way for both Joe Henderson and Blaise Bryant to have more than 1000 yards in their own respective seasons. In 1989, he and Gene Williams were part of an offensive line that helped the offense have almost 428 yards per game.
Also in 1989, he would be a player in the Blue-Gray All Star Football Classic.
In 1993-95, Sims made the Pro Bowl with Miami, where he started 108 of the 113 games he was a part of.
From 1998-2000, the end of his professional career, he played with the Redskins, starting 25 of the 29 games he played in.
In 2006, he was inducted into Iowa State’s Hall of Fame and in 2017 the Sun Sentinel ranked him the seventh best Dolphin lineman of all time.
Rod Rust – 1990 New England Patriots – Head Coach
Coach Rod Rust (August 2, 1928 – October 23, 2018) might be an unexpected addition to this list, but as a 1947-48 letterman of Iowa State and starting center in 1948, it’s imperative that I add him. (Especially because this 2018 Boston Globe tribute to Rust shares that he was cut by the 49ers.)
Following a 1-10 season in New England, Mr. Rust spent the 1991 season away from coaching. However, from 1992-2005*, he was back to coaching. (*He was hired as the defensive coordinator for the Ottawa Renegades in 2006, but the team suspended operations Spring 2006.)
Marcus Robertson – 1991 NFL Draft – 4th Round, 102nd Overall – Houston Oilers
Robertson, a four year player (1987-1990) came to Iowa State from John Muir (CA) High School. He led the 1988 team in interceptions with three (for 30 yards) as well tying on the 1990 team with one (along with Shawn Walker and Mark DouBrava).
Overall, he totaled 257 tackles, six interceptions and nine fumbles forced.
From 1991-2002 he played in 162 regular season games, starting 144 of them while accruing 24 interceptions, 20 passes deflected, nine forced fumbles, 11 fumble recoveries and 795 combined tackles (638 solo tackles).
Marcus finished his career starting all 27 games he played in for Seattle (2001-02).
While at Seattle, he accumulated (from the prior stats) two interceptions, seven passes deflected, two fumble recoveries, 115 solo tackles/37 combined tackles and his only two tackles for loss.
On February 6, 2019, he was named the defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals.
Gene Williams – 1991 NFL Draft – 5th Round, 121st Overall – Miami Dolphins
Before coming to Iowa State, the Creighton Prep (NE) was a stud thrower for the Track and Field team, throwing a discus 154-7 at a meet. During his senior year at Creighton Prep (1986) his football team won the Class A title as seen below.
As a Cyclone (1987-90) Gene paired up with aforementioned Keith Sims to bring the offense to new heights. HIs senior season he would be named First Team All-Big Eight and an All-American by Gannett News.
He also appeared in the 1990 Blue-Gray All Star Football Classic, along with then head coach Jim Walden who was the offensive coordinator of the victorious (17-14) Blue team.
Professionally with Miami, in 1991 and 1992, he played sparingly with the Dolphins, only appearing in 15 games and starting none of them.
He would spend 1993 and 1994 in Cleveland, starting 14/16 and 9/15 respectively.
His career would have a nice ending in Atlanta (1995-99) and he even got to start in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Iowa State Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
Blaise Bryant – 1991 NFL Draft – 6th Round, 148th Overall – New York Jets
Friend and one time interviewee for WRNL (Part One and Part Two) was a stud running back for Iowa State in 1989 and 1990. His junior year, the AP would name him a third team All-American and the AP, UPI and Coaches would names Blaise a first team All-Big Eight talent. Scoring 120 points and rushing for 1,516 yards in the 1989 season was a then school record. In his 1989 debut against Ohio, he rushed for 213 yards, the most ever by a Big Eight Conference back in their debut.
The Jets would draft Bryant about halfway through the Draft, unfortunately he didn’t play much in New York and ended up spending lots of time in Winnipeg.
The Blaise Blue Bomber was lethal on the ground and had a record rushing performance of 246 yards against Hamilton, a record that stood about 15 years.
Vinny Cerrato – 1991-2000, 2002-2009
The San Francisco 49ers picked up the former Cyclone quarterback and wide receiver in 1991 from Notre Dame. At Notre Dame, he was Lou Holtz’s recruiting coordinator from 1985-1991. Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 1983 and 1984.
The 49ers had him as their director of college scouting until 1995, when he would be promoted to director of player personnel. He would stay in San Francisco until 1998, when. . .
The Redskins hired him in 1999 as a general manager, fired him in 2001 and then re-hired him as Vice President of Football Operations in 2002, where he stayed until 2009.
His high school, Albert Lea HS (MN) inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2010.
Randy Bern – Arkansas Miners (1992*) – PSFL
Iowa State’s defensive lineman of the year in 1989 accumulated 184 total tackles from 1986-1989. He also found himself with five sacks, 11 tackles for loss (for 53 yards), seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
This led the eyes of the Professional Spring Football League and Arkansas Miners to pick him up. Unfortunately, the entire series was axed ten days before the start of the season.
Malcolm Goodwin – 2 Seasons (CFL)
Malcolm (and brother Matt who I’ll feature soon) led the 1992 Cyclones in tackles with 162, a mark that is still third best for a season at Iowa State. Had the Ames High grad gone out east and had a similar mark, he’d be second best for single season tackles. Anyways, Malcolm went out and ended his Cyclone career with 19 tackles against #11 Colorado at Folsom Field.
After graduation, Malcolm had a tryout with the Los Angeles Rams, but didn’t make it.
In 1994-1995 Malcolm accumulated 51 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Matt Goodwin – 2 Seasons (CFL)
Matt, as aforementioned, is the twin of Malcolm. He played only his freshman and senior year due to focusing on his political science major. He was picked up by the Bears, played in all of their preseason games, but got cut.
Once the CFL picked Matt up, he had an outstanding freshman campaign in ‘94, winning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award with his 54 tackles, three interceptions, three sacks, three punt blocks, of his four, returned for touchdown, and three of his four fumble recoveries returned for a touchdown.
In 1995, he had 50 tackles a sack and two interceptions, and started in the Grey Cup game that the Stallions won as seen below.
Weylan Harding (Played and Coached in the Arena Football League)
The Class of 1990 Klein High School BearKat made 109 tackles during his 1991-1993 Cyclone career.
During the 1991 game against Mizzou, Harding made an interception of the Tigers two point conversion attempt to preserve a 23-22 victory.
Harding bounced around the Arena Football League as a player until 2000, and in 2005 he made his way up to head coach of the New York Dragons after climbing the coaching ladder to get there.
He finished with a 34-34 record while coaching,
Marc Lillibridge – Four NFL Teams and One NFL Europe Team (1995-2000)
A letterwinner from 1992 to 1994, Marc was honored as a senior by being named 1st Team All Academic Big Eight.
Above is a picture of Lillibridge during one of his three preseason games that he played with the Eagles… Before he was cut on August 27, 1995. The Bills signed him in March 1996, but waived him in August.
He was a captain of this Amsterdam team in 1997.
During a July 1997 scrimmage with the Dolphins, Marc finished the day strong with four solo tackles and assisted on three more.
Professionally, he spent his final years (1998 and 1999) in The Big Easy. Where, during a training camp practice, Lillibridge had a herniated disc (his C4 and C5 fused), and had to retire. He now does scouting.
Jim Criner (1995-2001, 2012 Coaching in WLAF/NFL Europe, XFL and LÉFA)
Jim Criner was coach at Iowa State from 1983-1986, going 17-25-2 all time.
After Iowa State, Coach Criner won World Bowl ‘96 with the Scottish Claymores. He also coached the Las Vegas Outlaws in the XFL.
In 2012, he coached Spartiates d’Amiens and won Championnat de France Élite (top tier of US football in France).
In 2018, he coached Team Nordic U19 in International Bowl IX.
Mike Horacek (Five Arena Football League Teams From 1997-2008)
Horacek, who accrued stats at Iowa State from 1993-1995, got invited to the Blue-Gray Game in 1995.
He led the 1994 with 368 receiving yards on 22 receptions. In 1995, he was a team captain and finished with 353 receiving yards on 31 receptions.
Horacek was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars to their practice squad on December 21, 2000, and was released on March 2, 2001. Horacek spent three weeks with the Packers earlier that season, and then got claimed by the Packers on March 15, 2001, got waived in September 2001, and got re-signed by the Packers in December 2001.
The following stats are from ArenaFan.com, a top website for anyone interested in the Arena Football League.
Sheldon Napastuk – 1996 CFL Draft – 3rd Round, 25th Overall – Edmonton Eskimos
The North Battleford, Saskatchewan native played at Iowa State from 1993-1996, accumulating 113 tackles and assisted on 71 more in 37 games. He also forced and recovered a fumble.
Professionally, from 2000-2006, he picked up 157 tackles, five fumbles and 23 sacks. In 2005, he was named a CFL West All-Star.
1997 NFL Draft – 3rd Round, 62nd Overall – New Orleans Saints
Troy Davis, a Cyclone (and Heisman runner up in 1996) that needs no introduction, played professionally from 1997-2007.
From 1997-1999, he was with the New Orleans Saints where he picked up 446 rushing yards in 46 games.
He was a CFL East All-Star in 2002-2004 and a CFL All-Star in 2004.
He accumulated 6,739 rushing yards on 1,283 attempts and scored 36 touchdowns in Canada. He spent most of his time up north with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Tim Kohn – 3rd Round, 85th Overall – Oakland Raiders
Kohn was a four year lineman that paved the way for Cyclones such as Chris Ulrich, Marv Seiler, Rodney Guggenheim, oh and Troy Davis.
He was drafted by the Raiders, but never played.
Calvin Branch – 1997 NFL Draft – 6th Round, 172nd Overall – Oakland Raiders
Branch, another Klein High School grad, had 809 rushing yards on 152 carries and 720 receiving yards on 35 receptions. He was suspended on June 13, 1995, and got dismissed ten days later.
He transferred to Colorado State, where, in 1996, he scored 21 rushing touchdowns to go along with 1,279 rushing yards on 228 attempts.
For Oakland, (1997-2000, 2005), he returned 13 kicks for 214 yards and appeared in 60 games. After his playing career ended, he worked as a scout for the Oakland Raider
Oliver Ross – 1998 NFL Draft – 5th Round, 138th Overall – Dallas Cowboys
Oliver Ross made his Cyclone mark getting the starting job as a left tackle in 1997.
Professionally, the Cowboys used him in just two games as a tight end for extra yardage situations. He then got sent to the Eagles where he got promoted to the active squad on September 13, 1999, but never played.
He spent 2000 with the Amsterdam Admirals, and then went to the Steelers were he stayed from Fall 2000-2004. He played in all 64 games from 2001-2004 and started 35 of those games.
From 2005-2007, Ross played his first stint with the Arizona Cardinals, but injuries started to mount up. A broken bone in his hand in 2005, surgery to fix a preseason right knee injury in 2006 and a torn left triceps (which caused him to miss all of 2007) caused him to be released on February 21, 2008.
On June 2, 2008, he signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Patriots, but never played a game with the team and was released on October 28.
May 4, 2009, brought Ross back to the Cardinals, but he never played a game, and was released before the season started in September.
Todd Doxzon – 1998-2005 – NFL Europe, NFL, XFL and Arena Football
The Sioux City native threw for 3,158 yards and 21 touchdowns and he rushed for 14 touchdowns from 1993 to 1996.
He became a member of the 1998 Miami Dolphins, appearing in 9 games and rushing for a total of six yards.
Doxzon, the 160th Overall pick in the XFL Draft (Round 20, Pick 8) made LA Xtreme history by winning the first scramble in their franchise history.
From the 2006 Iowa State Football media guide, “Todd Doxzon is the only Cyclone to play in four different professional football leagues. He played for the Miami Dolphins (NFL) and Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe) in 1998, the Los Angeles Xtreme (XFL) in 2001, the New York Dragons (Arena) and the Carolina Cobras (Arena).”
The 1995 Register Signing Day graphic shared that the 6’3” 360 pound lineman could dunk. Augafa, who was born in Kahuku, Hawaii, played high school ball in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Big Eight Newcomer of the Year in 1995 earned a letter in both 1995-1996.
He, along with Kohn, appeared in both the Hula Bowl and the Blue-Gray Game.
Professionally, Augafa played for the Frankfurt Galaxy, made the practice roster for the Eagles and made the preseason roster for both the Chiefs and the Redskins. (The picture below is from 1998)
Bonus Augafa content: His son, Justice, is the leading punt returner for Hawai’i this season.
Jamie Kohl – 1999 Preseason
While at Iowa State, Jamie scored 217 points, with 111 of those coming off of field goals.
Did you know, he hit a 75 yard field goal “at camp”?
His career long field goal came against Kansas on Senior Day in 1998. With 7:25 left in the second quarter, Kohl connected from 54 on a windy Saturday.
Kohl played his first preseason NFL game on August 19, 1999, Jerry Rice, as seen below, only had one catch for seven yards. Kohl, with his new #4, outscored Rice on the day with a singular PAT with 10:12 left in the game.
Nine days later, Kohl kicked another PAT, this time with 12:36 left in Seattle’s 41-7 plucking of the Cardinals.