New week, new depth chart. Some significant (and expected) shuffling along the OL highlights the changes on this week's depth chart, but let's take a closer look at things.
|POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING||POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING|
|QB||NATHAN STANLEY (Sr)||SPENCER PETRAS (RS Fr) / PEYTON MANSELL (SO)||DE||CHAUNCEY GOLSTON (Jr)||JOHN WAGGONER (RS Fr)|
|RB||MEKHI SARGENT (Jr)||
TOREN YOUNG (Jr)
IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (Jr)
|DT||CEDRICK LATTIMORE (Sr)||DAVIYON NIXON (So)|
|FB||BRADY ROSS (Sr)||TURNER PALLISSARD (RS Fr)||DT||BRADY REIFF (Sr)||
AUSTIN SCHULTE (Jr)
NOAH SHANNON (RS Fr)
|WR||BRANDON SMITH (Jr)||TYRONE TRACY, JR (RS Fr)||DE||A.J. EPENESA (Jr)||
AMANI JONES (Sr)
ZACH VANVALKENBURG (Jr)
|WR||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Jr)||NICO RAGAINI (RS Fr)||WLB / CASH||NICK NIEMANN (Jr) / BARRINGTON WADE (Jr)||D.J. JOHNSON (RS Fr)|
|TE||NATE WIETING (Sr)||
DREW COOK (Sr) /
SHAUN BEYER (Jr)
|MLB||KRISTIAN WELCH (Sr)||DILLON DOYLE (RS Fr)|
|LT||TRISTAN WIRFS (Jr)||MARK KALLENBERGER (So)||OLB||DJIMON COLBERT (So)||NICK NIEMANN (Jr)|
|LG||LANDAN PAULSEN (Sr)||CODY INCE (RS Fr)||CB||MICHAEL OJEMUDIA (Sr)||D.J. JOHNSON (RS Fr)|
|C||TYLER LINDERBAUM (RS Fr)||JEFF JENKINS (RS Fr)||FS||KAEVON MERRIWEATHER (So)||JACK KOERNER (So)|
|RG||KYLER SCHOTT (So)||JUSTIN BRITT (Fr)||SS||GENO STONE (Jr)||WES DVORAK (Sr)|
|RT||LEVI PAULSEN (Sr)||JACK PLUMB (RS Fr)||CB||MATT HANKINS (Jr)||TERRY ROBERTS (RS Fr)|
|LS||JACKSON SUBBERT (Sr)||NATE VEJVODA (Sr)|
CALEB SHUDAK (Jr) /
KEITH DUNCAN (Jr)
|--||P||MICHAEL SLEEP-DALTON (Sr)||COLTEN RASTETTER (Sr)|
|KR||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Jr)||IVORY KELLY-MARTIN (Jr)||PR||NICO RAGAINI (RS Fr)||IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE (Jr)|
A few thoughts:
Obviously the big news is at OL, where Alaric Jackson's injury has forced some reshuffling. While the long term outlook for his injury looks positive, Iowa is going to need to make changes in short term. Per this depth chart, those changes are: Tristan Wirfs flipping from RT to LT, Levi Paulsen sliding from RG to RT, and Kyler Schott taking over at RG. Cole Banwart, Iowa's projected right guard starter during training camp, remains out with an injury. The Wirfs-Paulsen-Linderbaum-Schott-Paulsen OL was one that we saw a lot during the game Saturday after Jackson went down and it looked promising. We also saw Mark Kallenberger, the expected long-term replacement for either Jackson or Wirfs, see the field on Saturday and he should be another option at tackle (or guard, if either Landan Paulsen or Kyler Schott struggle).
The OL reshuffle (and Banwart's injury-induced absence) also means a first time appearance on the depth chart for true freshman Justin Britt, who saw snaps during Saturday's game. The coaching staff is obviously very high on him and with two seniors (the Paulsens) and two draft-eligible juniors (Wirfs and Jackson) in Iowa's top-six OL, Britt could be leaned on sooner rather than later.
Incidentally, Jackson's absence and a Wirfs-Paulsen-Linderbaum-Schott-Paulsen OL means that Iowa has a starting offensive line comprised entirely of native Iowans. That's neither better nor worse than having a starting line featuring players from other states, but it is a fun bit of trivia. Additionally, Wirfs, Linderbaum, Schott, and both Paulsens were also standout wrestlers in their prep days, with all three managing to finish third or better in the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.
The QB depth chart continues to list Spencer Petras and Peyton Mansell as co-backups, but it was Petras who came in for the final series during Saturday's night game, which suggest that he's the primary backup to Stanley.
Likewise, the RB depth chart still appears to list first string (Sargent), second string (Young), and third string (Kelly-Martin) options, but Sargent and Young got the bulk of the carries on Saturday and true freshman Tyler Goodson saw far more carries than Kelly-Martin did.
There are no changes at wide receiver, which means there's still no Oliver Martin sighting on the depth chart, but based on the evidence we have from Saturday night, he's certainly in the top five at the position. Smith and Smith-Marsette are the top options on the outside, Ragaini is the main option in the slot, but Tracy and Martin seem likely to see a lot of snaps.
At tight end, Nate Wieting remains the listed starter, but Shaun Beyer is now listed as the co-backup there with Drew Cook and it was Beyer who had the only tight end receptions on Saturday. If healthy, Beyer looks like the clear favorite to be the top pass-catching option among the tight ends.
Far fewer changes on the defensive side of the ball. The DL two-deeps look identical, aside from Austin Schulte moving ahead of Noah Shannon on the back-up rankings at DT.
Nick Niemann is now listed alongside Barrington Wade as an OR option at OLB/CASH and D.J. Johnson is the back-up, although that just means that he's the starter at the "cash" position if Iowa is in the 4-2-5 and either Niemann or Wade is the top option if Iowa is in a 4-3 look. Iowa played less 4-2-5 on Saturday after Johnson had some early struggles, so time will tell how things shake out at this position as the season progresses.
The only other change on the defensive side of the ball were in the secondary, where Terry Roberts replaces Riley Moss as the listed backup to Matt Hankins at the right-sided cornerback spot. Julius Brents remains absent from the two-deeps while recovering from an injury.
- On special teams, Keith Duncan and Caleb Shudak remain co-starters at kicker. On Saturday, Shudak appeared to handle all of the kickoffs while Duncan handled all of the extra points and the lone field goal opportunity; it wouldn't be a surprise to see that distribution of labor hold up throughout the season. Nico Ragaini is officially listed as the starting punt returner as well; he had a mixed debut in that role against Miami (OH).
Additional thoughts, comments, or concerns?