Dimitri Stanley enjoys culture inside ISU football

As Cyclones prepare for Kansas, transfer wide receiver could play a big role rest of season

Iowa State wide receiver Dimitri Stanley, brought down by Baylor cornerback Mark Milton during Saturday’s game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, is happy to finally be a Cyclone. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

AMES — Dimitri Stanley remembered.

The native Coloradan chose to stay home for the first four seasons of his college football career, but never forgot one of the first teams that came calling for his speedy services.

That would be Iowa State — and now he’s a Cyclone.

“The culture, it was big for me,” said Stanley, a former four-star recruit who caught his first touchdown pass for ISU in Saturday’s 31-24 loss to Baylor at Jack Trice Stadium. “Iowa State, when I was a junior in high school, was one of the first school’s to offer me, so just the fact that they came back for the second round and still believed in me, that spoke (volumes) to who the coaches were as people, but not only that, but just the culture of Iowa State.”

Stanley — whose touchdown pass from Hunter Dekkers spanned 24 yards — will find out just how strong that culture is when the Cyclones try to shake off the effects of Saturday’s mistake-laden loss and refocus in advance of a road trip to suddenly resurgent Kansas (4 -0, 1-0 Big 12).

ISU (3-1, 0-1) failed to force a turnover against the defending conference champion Bears (3-1, 1-0), while Dekkers tossed two interceptions. Penalties greatly aided two of Baylor’s touchdown drives and the Cyclones lost a Big 12 game at home for the first time since a 34-27 setback to Oklahoma State on Oct. 26, 2019.

“We’ll see (this) week who this team is and how we respond and how we come back, because we’re obviously going into another great challenge,” ISU head coach Matt Campbell said of Saturday’s 2:30 pm matchup in Lawrence . “I think you guys see this league, from top to bottom, you’re gonna get challenged every week and you better have great poise and leadership to be able to navigate it.”

An array of capable contributors is required, as well.

That’s where Stanley comes in, but he’s not alone in a receiving corps led by two-time first team all-Big 12 performer Xavier Hutchinson, who already owns five touchdown catches this season.

Sprinkle in skilled sophomore Jaylin Noel, who totaled a career-high 120 receiving yards in Saturday’s loss, along with Stanley and a cohort of complementary players, and Dekkers enjoys plenty of options as he goes through his passing progressions.

“You talk positives, man, that receiver room, there’s some guys that are really starting to come (on),” Campbell said. “Jaylin had another really good day. Sean (Shaw Jr.), last week, and then obviously Dimitri this week — I think those things are positive and they will serve us well moving forward.”

That would be 0-1 to start Big 12 play for the sixth time in Campbell’s seven seasons. Baylor’s dealt the Cyclones three of those Game 1 setbacks, but the Cyclones have responded by forging a winning conference record in each of the past five seasons.

So there’s no panic. Just resolve. And the calendar now turns to October, a month in which ISU has won 16 of its past 19 games.

“In this game, you’re always struck with adversity,” said Stanley, who nursed a lower body injury most of last season. “It’s (about) how you battle through it.”

Comments: robgray18@icloud.com

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