Joel Lanning became a media darling in his senior season for Iowa State football, playing both ways as Iowa State turned in its best season in 17 years
Lanning’s great senior year was capped with an award on Wednesday; he was named Iowa State’s Male Athlete of the Year for 2017-18.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) June 13, 2018
An All-American and first team All-Big 12 selection in 2017, Lanning’s story was one of the best in college football. Lanning was the Cyclones’ starting quarterback in 2015 and 2016 as Iowa State struggled to back-to-back three-win seasons.
With more talented options on the roster in 2017, coach Matt Campbell asked Lanning to switch to middle linebacker, a position he hadn’t played since eighth grade. He responded with a brilliant season, logging 114 tackles and 6 sacks, leading the Cyclones to an 8-5 record and two upset victories against top-10 teams.
He also moonlighted on offense, mainly as a short-yardage runner. Lanning rushed for 2 touchdowns and threw for another. He was also featured on special teams, making him a true iron man for the Cyclones.
Lanning is the first Iowa State football player to be named the Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year since cornerback and return man Ellis Hobbs in 2005. Lanning signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in April.