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ISU football notebook: Lanning coming into his own as a linebacker

September 17, 2017

AKRON, Ohio — The scrapes up and down his arm and across the side of his neck are a sign things are different.

Iowa State football senior Joel Lanning really is a linebacker.

“I felt a lot more comfortable with what I was doing and what I was seeing,” Lanning said after Iowa State’s 41-14 win at Akron Saturday. “Out here it definitely slowed down a lot for me, too. I’m just kind of locked in and things aren’t going so fast for me anymore.

“I’m just kind of chilling and doing my thing.”

Coach Matt Campbell wasn’t satisfied overall with his team’s performance against the Zips (1-2), but the second-year ISU coach gave kudos to his middle linebacker.

Lanning had a team-high eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a pass breakup and his first career interception, which he returned 19 yards. The pick set up running back David Montgomery’s nine-yard touchdown run to help pull Iowa State ahead 34-14.

“The quarterback clearly didn’t see me right there and just threw it right to me,” Lanning said. “The first one was right to me. The second one (on the pass breakup) I had to jump a little bit. It was kind of embarrassing.”

“It’s the third time he’s playing his position. You see a kid that’s really just starting to go into his own,” Campbell said of Lanning. “I challenged our football team, I don’t know what else you can do, but our leaders have to stand up. And there’s a guy that’s leading our football program every single day.

“I think he’s a guy that’s only going to get better and I know he’s a catalyst for what we do in our football program.”

Lanning helped the Iowa State defense hold Akron to 331 total yards and 4.9 yards per play while collecting 11 tackles for loss, three turnovers and six sacks for a total of 33 yards.

INJURY UPDATE: Senior Kamari Cotton-Moya wasn’t in uniform against Akron after sustaining an elbow injury against Iowa. Iowa State has an open week next, followed by a Thursday night game against Texas. Coach Matt Campbell said thinks he’ll be back for that.

Junior cornerback D’Andre Payne suffered a hamstring injury in the first half, Campbell said, and was unable to go the rest of the game. Payne will be evaluated in the coming days.