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Can Willie Harvey become Iowa State's next great linebacker?

Not too long ago, Iowa State had a heck of a run when it came to the linebacker position. A.J. Klein, Jake Knott, Jeremiah George. Jesse Smith, Ace Bowen and Tim Dobbins all developed into first- or second-team All-Big 12 selections.

Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register had a good piece about that linebacker tradition and a rising player who looks poised to restart it: Willie Harvey.

The 6-foot, 230-pound 'backer showed flashes of being a good one during his eight starts as a redshirt freshman. Now he's got the attention of his new head coach.

"If there’s one guy that’s shown up and had as good a spring as anybody, it’s Willie Harvey,” coach Matt Campbell said. “Willie’s end potential is as great as he wants it to be — as good as any linebacker that I’ve been able to coach in terms of natural ability and instincts.

“We need that, because it’s a position area that’s a concern right now. Willie has played at a high rate, consistently throughout spring practice."

Peterson calls Harvey the Cyclones' next all-conference linebacker. We'll see about that. For now, he's at least positioned himself to be an important piece on D for Campbell's rebuilding efforts.