Joel Lanning

American football player and coach (born 1994)

American football player
Joel Lanning
Iowa State Cyclones
Position:Graduate Assistant
Personal information
Born: (1994-11-18) November 18, 1994 (age 29)
Ankeny, Iowa
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:Ankeny (Ankeny, Iowa)
College:Iowa State
Career history
As a player:
  • Dallas Cowboys (2018)*
  • San Antonio Commanders (2019)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards

Joel Lanning (born November 18, 1994)[1] is a former American football linebacker who is currently a graduate assistant for the Iowa State Cyclones football team. He played college football at Iowa State University.

Early years

Lanning was a multi-sport star at Ankeny High School, earning all-state selections in football,[2] baseball,[3] and wrestling.[4]

As a sophomore, he tallied 1,230 passing yards and 669 rushing yards, receiving second-team All-Conference honors.

As a junior, he passed for 1,723 yards and rushed for 636 yards, receiving All-Conference honors.

As a senior in 2012, he led the team to a 14-0 record and the state championship, while setting school records in total yards (3,384), passing yards (2,315), rushing yards (1,082) by a quarterback and had 39 total touchdowns (22 passing and 17 rushing). He received All-Conference, Elite All-State and the Des Moines Register Class 4-A Player of the Year. As a three-year starting quarterback at Ankeny, he recorded 7,642 all-purpose career yards.[5]

In baseball, he was a two-time first-team All-State selection and contributed to the team winning the 2012 state championship.[6][7] In wrestling, he received all-state honors as a senior.


After high school Lanning was very lightly recruited for football. His only two offers were Nebraska and Iowa State; he ultimately picked the Cyclones.[8]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Joel Lanning
Ankeny, Iowa Ankeny High School 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Dec 8, 2012 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:2/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247Sports:3/5 stars    ESPN grade: 79
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 4 (IA)  247Sports: 1546, 8 (IA), 72 (QB)  ESPN: 2 (IA), 25 (QB)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2013 Iowa State Football Commitment List". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  • "2013 Iowa State Football Commits". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  • "ESPN". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  • " Team Recruiting Rankings". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  • "2013 Team Ranking". Retrieved December 11, 2017.

College career

2014 season

As a redshirt freshman, he only played one game on special teams.[1]

2015 season

Lanning played in 11 games and started at quarterback for the final five. He finished the season with 1,247 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns in addition to 330 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.[9]

His season highs included 162 passing yards on 11 of 22 attempts and 130 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns against Oklahoma State[10] as well as throwing for three touchdowns and 210 yards against Kansas State.[11]

2016 season

His junior season, Lanning was a threat through the air as well as on the ground. In addition to throwing for 1,290 yards and nine touchdowns he ran for 518 yard and led the team with 11 rushing touchdowns, this was the 10th most by FBS quarterbacks.[12] He was responsible for 20 of the Cyclone's 39 offensive touchdowns and ended the season with a streak of 121 consecutive passes without an interception.[1]

Against Baylor he threw for 261 yards and two scores on 17 of 23 passes as well as running for 57 yards and an additional touchdown.[13] Lanning had a career day against Texas Tech tying the school record for five rushing touchdowns in a game in addition to breaking the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 171 yards on 17 carries.[14]

2017 season

At the end of the 2016 season Jacob Park took over as the full-time starting quarterback.[15] In an unheralded move during the off-season, head coach Matt Campbell asked Lanning to switch positions from quarterback to middle linebacker.[16] He was able to work up the depth chart and was the starting middle linebacker for the Cyclones opening game against UNI.[17] Despite starting on defense, Lanning continued to play special teams as well as wildcat quarterback in short yardage and goal line situations.[18] He finished the season leading the team in tackles, second in tackles for a loss, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.[19]

His highlights included eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and an interception against Akron[20] as well as 20 tackles against Texas.[21] Lanning was named the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week[22] after a standout performance against #3 Oklahoma that included eight tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, nine rushing attempts for 35 yards and two passes for 25 yards.[23] In the match-up against Oklahoma State, Lanning had five tackles, half a sack, in addition to throwing a touchdown to Allen Lazard.[24]

At the conclusion of the season he was selected as a first-team All-American[25] and named to the first-team All-Big 12.[26]

College statistics

Passing Rushing Defense
Year Team GP Cmp Att Pct Yards TDs Int Att Yds Avg TD Tackles For Loss Sacks Int
2015 Iowa State 11 107 192 55.7 1,247 10 4 94 330 3.5 4
2016 Iowa State 11 99 170 58.2 1,290 9 3 121 518 4.3 11
2017 Iowa State 12 3 4 75.0 47 1 0 40 135 3.4 2 114 11.0 6.0 1
College Totals 34 209 366 57.1 2,584 20 7 249 963 3.9 16 114 11.0 6.0 1

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Lanning was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2018 NFL Draft on April 30.[28] He was waived on September 1, 2018.[29]

San Antonio Commanders (AAF)

On October 12, 2018, Lanning signed with the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football.[30][31] The league ceased operations in April 2019.[32]

Personal life

In 2019, Lanning was hired as a defensive quality control assistant for the football team at Iowa State University. In 2020, he was named a graduate assistant on defense.[33]


  1. ^ a b c "Iowa State Athletics".
  2. ^ "Joel Lanning attempts to be Iowa State's jack-of-all-trades – The Gazette".
  3. ^ Hayes, Matt. "How Joel Lanning Went from QB to LB to QB/LB and the Story of the CFB Season".
  4. ^ "2013 Iowa Wrestling Results: Big 12 Football Recruit Earns 3rd in Tournament". February 16, 2013.
  5. ^ "Joel Lanning to Go from Ankeny to Iowa State Football". August 13, 2012.
  6. ^ "State baseball: Ankeny wins Class 4-A championship". July 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Ankeny caps historic final season with state title".
  8. ^ "Ankeny's Joel Lanning commits to ISU football – The Gazette".
  9. ^ "2015 Iowa State Cyclones Stats - College Football at". College Football at
  10. ^ "Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State – Game Summary – November 14, 2015 – ESPN".
  11. ^ "Iowa State vs. Kansas State – Game Summary – November 21, 2015 – ESPN".
  12. ^ "College Football Player Stats & Stats Leaders – Rushing Touchdowns".
  13. ^ "Baylor vs. Iowa State – Game Summary – October 1, 2016 – ESPN".
  14. ^ "Iowa State clobbers Texas Tech 66–10".
  15. ^ "Iowa State Athletics".
  16. ^ "Iowa State's bold plan to make its QB a linebacker".
  17. ^ "Iowa State football: Lazard breaks record, Lanning plays offense and defense and more".
  18. ^ "Iowa State football: Joel Lanning can do it all for the Cyclones".
  19. ^ "Peterson: Cyclones fans owe a lot to seniors like Lanning and Lazard for honoring their word".
  20. ^ "Iowa State vs. Akron – Game Summary – September 16, 2017 – ESPN".
  21. ^ "Texas vs. Iowa State – Game Summary – September 28, 2017 – ESPN".
  22. ^ Montz, Dylan. "Football: Joel Lanning named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week".
  23. ^ "Iowa State vs. Oklahoma – Game Summary – October 7, 2017 – ESPN".
  24. ^ "Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State – Game Summary – November 11, 2017 – ESPN".
  25. ^ "Joel Lanning named to Football Writers Association's All-America Team".
  26. ^ Mozey, Brian. "Iowa State football showcases 20 players in Big 12 awards".
  27. ^ "Joel Lanning College Stats - College Football at". College Football at
  28. ^ Eatman, Nick (April 30, 2018). "Cowboys Agree to Terms With 18 Undrafted Rookie Free Agents; Full List". Archived from the original on May 1, 2018.
  29. ^ Helman, David (September 1, 2018). "Bailey Not Only Surprise Cut As Cowboys Trim To 53".
  30. ^ "Former Iowa State star Joel Lanning chasing his NFL dream as starting linebacker in the upstart AAF". Des Moines Register. February 11, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  31. ^ "San Antonio Commanders sign more players: Oct. 12, 2018". 210 Football. October 12, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  32. ^ Rothstein, Michael; Wickersham, Seth (June 13, 2019). "Inside the short, unhappy life of the Alliance of American Football". Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  33. ^ "Joel Lanning coaching profile". October 12, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2019.

External links

  • Iowa State Cyclones bio
  • Will You Know No. 43’s Name By Time The Season Begins?
  • v
  • t
  • e
Iowa State Cyclones starting quarterbacks