CLINTON — When Iowa State kicks off its football season Saturday, Austin Krick will finally get his chance.
The redshirt-junior defensive tackle from Clinton will play a major role on the defensive line for the Cyclones in their opener against the University of Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. And when he enters the game, a familiar face will greet him on the opposing team.
David Johnson, also a redshirt-junior from Clinton, will start for the Panthers at running back, meaning the former high school teammates will likely see what opposing players and coaches have known about each of them since their days with the River Kings.
“(David’s) a guy that can do it all for them,” Krick said. “He gets all the carries, and he’s a workhorse. He can catch from the backfield, and he’s big kid.”
Johnson, listed as 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, knows that Krick won’t be easy to run over.
“He’s a pretty strong (defensive) tackle,” Johnson said. “I haven’t seen him play in awhile, but he’s gotten a little bigger.”
Krick, listed as 6-foot-2, 277 pounds, came to Iowa State as a preferred walk-on in 2010, after registering all-conference accolades three consecutive years in high school and all-state mention during his senior season for the River Kings.
Still a walk-on, but listed as the No. 2 defensive tackle on Saturday’s depth chart, which will include a rotation for playing time with starter Brandon Jensen, Krick is ready to remind people why he chose to play at a FBS program.
“Playing quality snaps in the Big 12 was my ultimate goal when I got here,” Krick said. “I’ve worked hard and with everything that I’ve invested, I’m ready to take advantage of the opportunity.”
For Johnson, this weekend’s match-up presents another opportunity to showcase why so much preseason attention has been paid to the All-Missouri Valley Conference returnee.