Iowa released a new depth chart for this week's game against Michigan, and it includes some promising news on the injury front, as a few names who have been absent for a few weeks (Alaric Jackson, Kaevon Merriweather) make their returns. How much they'll actually play on Saturday is TBD, of course.
|POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING||POS||FIRST STRING||SECOND STRING|
|QB||NATHAN STANLEY (Sr)||SPENCER PETRAS (RS Fr)||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||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)||LEO / CASH||NICK NIEMANN (Jr)||BARRINGTON WADE (Jr)|
|TE||NATE WIETING (Sr)||SHAUN BEYER (Jr)||MLB||KRISTIAN WELCH (Sr)||DILLON DOYLE (RS Fr)|
|LT||TRISTAN WIRFS (Jr)||ALARIC JACKSON (Jr)||WLB||DJIMON COLBERT (So)||NICK NIEMANN (Jr)|
|LG||LANDAN PAULSEN (Sr)||MARK KALLENBERGER (So)||CB||MICHAEL OJEMUDIA (Sr)||JERMARI HARRIS (Fr)|
|C||TYLER LINDERBAUM (RS Fr)||JEFF JENKINS (RS Fr)||FS||JACK KOERNER (So)||KAEVON MERRIWEATHER (So)|
|RG||COLE BANWART (Jr)||JUSTIN BRITT (Fr)||SS||GENO STONE (Jr)||WES DVORAK (Sr)|
|RT||LEVI PAULSEN (Sr)||JACK PLUMB (RS Fr)||CB||D.J. JOHNSON (RS Fr)||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:
Most of the changes on this week's depth chart are on the OL, where the big news is probably the return of Alaric Jackson, here listed as the backup LT. In his comments to Hawkeye Sports yesterday, Ferentz indicated that Jackson should return to action this week, barring any setbacks in his recovery. We'll see how many snaps that ends up meaning for him. If he plays, then Wirfs will resume his normal role as starting RT.
Jackson's return also shifts Kallenberger to backup LG behind Landan Paulsen. Kallenberger played 45 snaps against MTSU last week, the fifth-most among Iowa's OL (behind Linderbaum, Wirfs, Banwart, and Landan Paulsen). It will be interesting to see what role the coaches carve out for him going forward.
Cole Banwart also takes over at RG -- although it might be more accurate to say he reclaimed that spot; he missed time at the start of the year due to injury and was replaced (very well) by Kyler Schott. Now Schott is expected to miss a few weeks and Banwart has retaken that spot. We'll have to see what happens when Schott is again healthy.
Austin Schulte replaces Brady Reiff as the starting DT, which reflects the lineup that started on Saturday after Reiff was ruled out of action with an injury. Iowa rotated heavily at DT against MTSU, as all four top defensive tackles played almost equivalent snaps: Nixon (29), Shannon (26), Schulte (25), Lattimore (25). Lattimore's numbers figure to go up against tougher opponents, but I'm curious to see how things shake out for Nixon, Shannon, and Schulte over the next few weeks.
No change to the starters in the secondary, but it's good to see Kaevon Merriweather back on the two-deeps, here as the back-up FS. As with Jackson, Ferentz indicated that he could play this weekend, barring any injury-related setbacks. That said, while Jackson should walk back into the starting lineup, Merriweather faces a more difficult challenge to unseat Koerner, who's played pretty well over the past three games.
- And I continue to be amused that Ivory Kelly-Martin is listed ahead of Tyler Goodson at RB, even though Goodson's snap counts dwarf IKM's at this point. Goodson played more snaps (30) than any other RB except Mekhi Sargent (38) against MTSU.