Iowa just released their depth chart for the first game of the season and there are some surprises on it, especially on defense.
Freshman walk on, (or former walk on as it was announced this morning that he now received a scholarship,) linebacker Bo Bower is now listed as a co-starter with junior Travis Perry. Bower seemingly came out of nowhere as no one had him on their radar at the beginning of camp.
This could be Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz sending a message to Perry to pick up his play or Bower could just be that talented. I think it’s more the talent part but who knows as Ferentz has tried to motivate (or punish players) with depth charts (see Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a primary example). Perry will probably play more but we will still see a lot of Bower on the field too.
Sticking with the linebackers, freshman redshirt Josey Jewell is now listed as the co-starter with Reggie Spearman. The coaches have raved about Jewell all spring and fall and now they back him up on the depth chart. There will probably be tons of rotation at this spot between Jewell and Spearman.
In the secondary we see Greg Mabin emerged as the starting corner across from Desmond King. As a former wide receiver, Mabin had an uphill for the start as he had to learn the position. Mabin is a physical freak at 6-2, 195 pounds so it will be nice to get that natural talent on the field.
At defensive end, junior Nate Meier has really taken a step forward according to Ferentz and he is now listed as a starter with Mike Hardy. Hardy started the last half of the season and performed well in run support. Meier is more of a pass rusher at only 244 pounds, but the coaches say he defends the run well too.
They like to rotate the defensive line more than some other positions so both will see plenty of playing time. Hardy will probably see the field more on first and second down when the opponent is more likely to run. Meier will be in during the obvious passing situations and will possibly play in the raider package Iowa used last year.
On offense, the running back position changed a little with Jordan Canzeri dropping to second string. I said that this may happen last month in a different article. He gave way to Damon Bullock, who doesn’t have the speed as Canzeri but is much more reliable. Bullock is a tremendous blocker and receiver so Iowa will probably use him a lot on third downs.
Based on the depth chart, Bullock and fellow starter Mark Weisman will be handling the majority of the playing time. Canzeri will also get quite a bit of playing time as he is too talented to keep on the bench. LeShun Daniels isn’t on the two deeps anymore but he will still see a bunch of playing time.
The kicker and punter positions are still up for grabs as Ferentz says they are even right now. By the time the game comes around they will have probably settled on someone for each position.
Here is the full depth chart:
SE 4 Tevaun Smith 6-2 200 Jr. Toronto, Ontario (Kent School, Conn.)
18 Derrick Willies 6-4 210 Fr.Rs Rock Island, Ill. (Rock Island)
LT 68 Brandon Scherff 6-5 320 Sr. Denison, Iowa (Denison)
75 Ike Boettger 6-6 267 Fr.Rs Cedar Falls, Iowa (Cedar Falls)
LG 79 Sean Welsh 6-3 285 Fr.Rs Springboro, Ohio (Springboro)
52 Boone Myers 6-5 285 Fr.Rs Webster City, Iowa (Webster City)
C 63 Austin Blythe 6-3 290 Jr. Williamsburg, Iowa (Williamsburg)
58 Eric Simmons 6-2 295 Jr. Madrid, Iowa (Iowa Western CC)
or 57 Tommy Gaul 6-3 280 Sr. Des Moines, Iowa (Dowling Catholic)
RG 65 Jordan Walsh 6-4 290 Jr. Glendale Heights, Ill. (Glenbard West)
74 Mitch Keppy 6-5 298 So. Port Byron, Ill. (Riverdale)
RT 78 Andrew Donnal 6-7 305 Sr. Montclova, Ohio (Anthony Wayne)
64 Cole Croston 6-5 270 So. Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (Sergeant Bluff -Luton)
TE 82 Ray Hamilton 6-5 252 Sr. Strongsville, Ohio (Strongsville)
80 Henry Krieger Coble 6-4 250 Jr. Mount Pleasant, Iowa (Mount Pleasant)
WR 11 Kevonte Martin-Manley 6-0 205 Sr. Pontiac, Mich. (Brother Rice)
89 * MaƩ VandeBerg ^ 6-1 175 So. Brandon, S.D. (Brandon Valley)
WR 17 Jacob Hillyer 6-4 208 Jr. Somerset, Texas (Somerset)
22 Damond Powell ^ 5-11 180 Sr. Toledo, Ohio (Rogers HS/Snow CC)
QB 15 Jake Rudock 6-3 208 Jr. Weston, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
16 C.J. Beathard 6-2 203 So. Franklin, Tenn. (Battle Ground Academy)
RB 45 Mark Weisman 6-0 240 Sr. Buffalo Grove, Ill. (Stevenson)
or 5 Damon Bullock 6-0 205 Sr. Mansfield, Texas (Mansfi eld)
33 Jordan Canzeri 5-9 192 Jr. Troy, N.Y. (Troy)
FB 42 Macon Plewa 6-2 236 Jr. Franklin, Wis. (Franklin)
Kicker 1 Marshall Koehn 6-0 195 Jr. Solon, Iowa (Solon)
or 2 Mick Ellis 5-10 180 Fr. Allen, Texas (Lovejoy)
LE 34 Nate Meier 6-2 244 Jr. Tabor, Iowa (Fremont-Mills)
or 98 Mike Hardy 6-5 280 Sr. Appleton, Wis. (Kimberly)
49 Melvin Spears 6-2 268 Jr. Allen, Texas (Allen)
DT 71 Carl Davis 6-5 315 Sr. Detroit, Mich. (Stevenson)
56 Faith Ekakitie 6-3 287 So. Brampton, Ontario (Lake Forest Academy)
DT 90 Louis Trinca-Pasat 6-3 290 Sr. Chicago, Ill. (Lane Tech)
99 Nathan Bazata 6-2 284 Fr.Rs Howells, Neb. (Howells-Dodge)
or 67 Jaleel Johnson 6-4 310 So. Lombard, Ill. (Montini Catholic)
RE 95 Drew Ott 6-4 270 Jr. Trumbull, Neb. (Giltner)
94 Riley McMinn 6-7 265 Jr. Rochester, Ill. (Rochester)
OLB 39 Travis Perry 6-3 232 Jr. Urbandale, Iowa (Urbandale)
or 41 Bo Bower 6-1 220 Fr.Rs West Branch, Iowa (West Branch)
MLB 52 Quinton Alston 6-1 232 Sr. Sicklerville, N.J. (Timber Creek Reg.)
39 Travis Perry 6-3 232 Jr. Urbandale, Iowa (Urbandale)
or 50 Chad Gilson 6-1 235 Sr. Urbandale, Iowa (Urbandale/Northern Iowa)
WLB 6 Reggie Spearman 6-3 230 So. Chicago, Ill. (Simeon)
or 43 Josey Jewell 6-2 225 Fr.Rs Decorah, Iowa (Decorah)
36 Cole Fisher 6-2 233 Jr. Omaha, Neb. (Millard North)
Left Cornerback 13 Greg Mabin 6-2 195 So. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Calvary Christian Academy)
28 Maurice Fleming 6-0 200 So. Chicago, Ill. (Curie Metropolitan)
Strong Safety 37 John Lowdermilk ^ 6-2 210 Sr. Carrollton, Ohio (Carrollton)
26 Kevin Ward 6-1 205 Fr.Rs Homer Glen, Ill. (Providence Catholic)
Free Safety 27 Jordan Lomax 5-10 200 Jr. Upper Marlboro, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
12 Anthony Gair 6-2 200 So. Plano, Texas (Prestonwood Christian)
or 32 Solomon Warfield 6-0 180 Fr.RS Lorain, Ohio (St. Edward)
Right Cornerback 14 Desmond King 5-11 190 So. Detroit, Mich. (East English Village)
7 Sean Draper 6-0 190 Jr. Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
Punter 98 Connor Kornbrath 6-6 240 Jr. Bridgeport, W. Va. (Bridgeport)
OR 16 Dillon Kidd 6-2 230 Jr. Deerfield Beach, Fla. (El Camino CC)
Punt Returns: 11 Kevonte Martin-Manley
Kickoff Returns: 33 Jordan Canzeri
Deep Snaps: 97 Tyler Kluver
Holder: 98 Connor Kornbrath, 16 Dillon Kidd