The wait is over for Jirehl Brock


Hailey Dohnal, Assistant Sports Editor

Jirehl Brock, the four-star recruit and one of the nation’s top running back prospects in 2019, will take on a large role in the 2022-2023 football season. 

The redshirt junior and running back from Quincy, Illinois, is set to be the starting running back for the Cyclones after former running back Breece Hall entered the NFL Draft in April of 2022. Hall was picked No. 36 and was selected by the New York Jets. 

In Dec. 2021, Iowa State played the Clemson Tigers in the Cheez-It Bowl. After deciding to declare for the NFL Draft, Hall chose to opt out of the bowl game, leaving Brock to earn the starting position. 

Brock said he knew of the potential possibility of getting the starting running back role and was well prepared when the time came. 

Iowa State running backs Jirehl Brock (left) and Breece Hall (right) warm up before the Cyclones take on the No.10 Iowa Hawkeyes on Sept. 11, 2021. (Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily)

Being able to start in the game and practice being the starter throughout the offseason gave Brock the confidence to lead his team on and off the field. 

Although the Cyclones fell short, Brock earned a season high in rushing yards, reception yards and longest reception in the bowl game. Additionally, Brock played in all 13 games in the 2021-2022 season. 

With Hall now gone, Brock will have a vast hole to fill. Nonetheless, coaches and teammates have all the confidence in their player. 

A high level of hard work and discipline, along with great resilience, is what running game coordinator and running back/wide receivers coach Nate Scheelhaase has seen from Brock since coming to Iowa State.


“The best players that we’ve had here [at Iowa State], those are for sure some of the traits they’ve had,” Scheelhaase said. 

Scheelhaase said resilience is not only a part of who Brock is, but it is a part of his game as well. 

“He’s a tough guy to bring down,” Scheelhaase said. 

Now being the oldest guy in the running back room along with one of the older guys on the offensive side, Scheelhaase says Brock has grown to be a vocal leader. 

Additionally,  Brock has learned to understand delayed gratification and what it takes to continue to put in work each day. 

“Things aren’t going to be handed to you,” Scheelhaase said. “You have to work for those things. He’s been a great example.” 

When previously asked why he never transferred, Brock responded, “In all reality, there wasn’t much of a decision. That’s not who I am.” 

Brock has seen what it’s like to grow as a player and a person. Both Hall and Brock came to Iowa State as freshmen in 2019 and have created a strong relationship.

“I lost my best friend,” Brock said when discussing his feelings about Breece entering the NFL. 

Furthermore, Scheelhaase says because of their bond, Brock and Hall were able to lead together. 

With that, he now realizes because the guy beside him has moved on, his role and responsibility are on his shoulders.

“He’s owned that,” Scheelhaase said. 

Brock said both he and the running back room are excited to work to continue what has been years of great running backs at Iowa State. 

Some of those running backs include those currently in the NFL, such as Breece Hall (New York Jets), David Montgomery (Chicago Bears) and Kene Nwangwu (Minnesota Vikings). 

Doing so will be a challenge, but Brock said with the work ethic he and his teammates have, the job can definitely be done. 

Another goal Brock has for himself and his team is staying consistent throughout the season. 

“I was able to do it for one game last year (Cheez-It Bowl), but one game doesn’t amount up to a whole season,” Brock said. 

With that, the phrase “consistency is key” is used frequently by the Cyclone football team. Although he plays on the offensive side, Brock’s presence is still felt on the defensive side of the field. 

Defensive back Tayvonn Kyle said even though he doesn’t have the closest relationship with Brock, he could go to him for pretty much anything. 

Jirehl Brock runs behind tight end Easton Dean in the Cyclones’ 59-7 win over Kansas on Oct. 2, 2021. (Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily)

“He’s a people person and very welcoming,” Kyle said. 

Moreover, Kyle says that there is common ground throughout the whole team.

“There’s no one man that’s higher than the other…nobody’s unapproachable,” Kyle said. 

Kyle says that even with being on defense, Brock is someone that leads by example and that that is shown on all sides of the field. 

Brock will be one to watch this season. The 6-foot, 200-pound player will have significant opportunities this season to show his importance to the team and will continue to do so behind the scenes.