Summer is winding down and football is creeping ever closer; our latest sign of its return comes in the forms of piping hot fresh two-deeps. Let's take a look at what they have to say...
|POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING||POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING|
|QB||NATHAN STANLEY (Jr)||PEYTON MANSELL (RS Fr)||DE||ANTHONY NELSON (Jr)||SAM BRINCKS (Sr)|
|RB||TOREN YOUNG (So)||IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (So)||DT||CEDRICK LATTIMORE (Jr)||CHAUNCY GOLSTON (So)|
|FB||BRADY ROSS (Jr)||AUSTIN KELLY (Sr)||DT||MATT NELSON (Sr)||BRADY REIFF (Jr)|
|WR||BRANDON SMITH (So)||KYLE GROENEWEG (Sr)||DE||PARKER HESSE (Sr)||A.J. EPENESA (So)|
|WR||NICK EASLEY (Sr)||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (So)||OLB||NICK NIEMANN (So)||BARRINGTON WADE (So)|
|TE||NOAH FANT (Jr)||SHAUN BEYER (So)||MLB||AMANI JONES (Jr)||JACK HOCKADAY (Sr)|
|TE||T.J. HOCKENSON (So)||NATE WIETING (Sr)||WLB||KRISTIAN WELCH (Jr)||DJIMON COLBERT (RS Fr)|
|LT||ALARIC JACKSON (So)||MARK KALLENBERGER (RS Fr)||CB||MATT HANKINS (So)||TREY CREAMER (RS Fr)|
|LG||ROSS REYNOLDS (Sr)||LANDAN PAULSEN (Jr)||SS||AMANI HOOKER (Jr)||GENO STONE (So)|
|C||KEEGAN RENDER (Sr)||LEVI DUWA (RS Fr)||FS||
BRANDON SNYDER (Sr) /
JAKE GERVASE (Sr)
|RG||COLE BANWART (So)||LEVI PAULSEN (Jr)||CB||
MICHAEL OJEMUDIA (Jr)
||JOSH TURNER (RS Fr)|
|RT||TRISTAN WIRFS (So)||DALTON FERGUSON (Sr)||LS||JACKSON SUBBERT (Jr)||--|
|K||MIGUEL RECINOS (Jr)||KEITH DUNCAN (So)||P||
RYAN GERSONDE (So) /
COLTEN RASTETTER (Jr)
A few thoughts:
- No changes at the skill position spots on offense other than running back, where Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin have flipped roles in the starter/backup listing. That doesn't seem too surprising given stories like this about Young assuming a leadership role. And, frankly, the starter role is pretty overblown when it comes to running back -- Akrum Wadley was rarely the listed starter at RB for Iowa over the past few years, but he still saw plenty of action. Young and IKM (as well as JUCo transfer Mekhi Sargent) figure to split plenty of carries for Iowa in 2018.
- The offensive line has seen a little shuffling, though. Tristan Wirfs moved to left tackle in the Pinstripe Bowl after regular starter Alaric Jackson was suspended for that game and the coaches experimented with both of them at left and right tackle in spring, but now we're back to the look that bookended Iowa's line for most of last season: Jackson at left tackle and Wirfs at right tackle.
- Keegan Render remains the projected starter at center, although his projected back-up has changed from Cole Banwart to Levi Duwa. That's because Banwart has become the projected starter at right guard, supplanting Levi Paulsen, who has been recovering from an injury this offseason. When fully fit, Paulsen may resume his starting role, but Ferentz said that Banwart has taken big strides this offseason, so that position seems very much in flux at the moment. Ross Reynolds remains the other projected starter at left guard.
- There are a few more shake-ups on the defensive side of the two-deeps, although not at defensive end, where things are steady as she goes with Anthony Nelson and Parker Hesse as projected starters, and Sam Brincks and A.J. Epenesa as the main back-ups. Don't worry: there will be plenty of rotation at end and A.J. will get a lot of snaps.
- The now-healthy Matt Nelson replaces Brady Reiff as a projected starter at defensive tackle and the biggest reason for that change is likely because Nelson is healthy now and he wasn't in the spring (though Reiff probably didn't help his cause any with his recent off-field escapades). Chauncey Golston also replaces Garret Jensen as the other projected backup at DT.
- Nick Niemann and Barrington Wade remain 1-2 at OLB, but other than that chaos reigns. Amani Jones has gone from back-up at WLB in the spring to the starter at MLB, while the spring starter at MLB (Kristian Welch) has become the projected starter at WLB. Jack Hockaday remains the projected backup at WLB, while Djimon Colbert makes his depth chart debut as the projected backup at WLB. Whew.
All of this means that our longtime depth chart crush, Aaron Mends, is
once again MIA.(ED. NOTE: I forgot that Mends tore his ACL during the spring. D'oh!)
- The secondary looks a little different in this depth chart as well, although the projected starters at corner (Matt Hankins and Michael Ojemudia) are the same. Trey Creamer remains the listed backup to Hankins as well, but Manny Rugamba's departure makes room for Josh Turner as the projected backup to Ojemudia. The arrival of some highly-touted defensive back prospects as incoming freshmen this summer means the CB slots will be ones to watch throughout fall practice, though.
- At safety, Amani Hooker remains the starter at strong safety, though Geno Stone replaces John Milani as his projected backup. At free safety Brandon Snyder, returning from injury, and Jake Gervase are listed as co-starters; how that battle shakes out over the next month or so will be worth keeping an eye on.
- Finally, in specialist land, Miguel Recinos remains the starter at placekicker, although Keith Duncan makes his triumphant return to the depth chart as Recinos' backup. Punter is another position with co-starters (Ryan Gersonde and Colten Rastetter) listed; hopefully one of them rises up to seize the position and provide Iowa with some strong production at the position.
Anything stand out to you from these new two-deeps? Hit up the comments to let us know.