I took a look at Iowa's 2011 recruiting class and tried to guess which of those new guys have the best chance at seeing the field right away. Since that was written there's been some changes.
First, Rodney Coe never made it to campus. Coe will spend two years at Iowa Western Community College and then who knows? The plan is to come back to Iowa but two years is a long time. And then there were reports that he arrived pushing 270 pounds. You may see him as a defensive lineman at IWCC.
Second, Dan Heiar suffered serious injuries in an accident in which he was charged with a DUI. Heiar has three years to play two at Iowa and will redshirt this season to recover from his injuries. Ferentz mentioned Heiar will face disciplinary action when he can return to play. My guess that would be the first game in 2012?
And third, a new name was added to the class. Dean Tsopanides, a defensive lineman from Connecticut, was discovered at Milford Prep by coach O'Keefe. Tsopanides came to Iowa around 240ish and will be redshirting to add size to play defensive end.
Okay, so now that I've seen all of the freshman in action (at Iowa's Kid's Day/Open Practice), I'm ready to revise/redo/re-guess my freshman to see the field in 2011.
At running back, I originally guessed Coe and McCall would get touches. Now, I'm sticking with McCall. I believe he showed the crowd in Kinnick Saturday that he is ready to play. Hopefully he can break in gradually and learn the pass protection. He reminds me a little of Jewel Hampton his freshman year and it would be great to get Hampton 2008 like numbers out of McCall.
I'll take Jordan Canzeri as my second guess. I didn't see a ton of separation between Canzeri and Bullock but Canzeri has extremely quick feet. He reminds me of Wegher a little bit but with break away speed. The knock on JC would be his size, he took a shot from Terrance Pryor that you could hear in Cedar Rapids. He popped right up but I doubt his body is ready for many of those hits.
When I predicted the tight ends I sorta went out on a limb picking Krieger-Coble ahead of Hamilton. After Saturday I'm not afraid to admit that that was dumb. Don't get me wrong, HKC will be a good player. Hamilton is the real deal folks. I expect him to gradually work his way in and maybe play a bit of the H-back this year. He reminds me of a young Tony Moeaki but let's hope he doesn't suffer the same constant injury battle Moeaki seemed to have.
I predicted that all three of the frosh in the defensive backfield (Lomax, Law, Campbell) would see the field. Lomax was held out of Saturday's scrimmage and Law was running with the threes. Torrey Campbell was getting reps with the one and twos. He appears to be the leader for playing time among those three.
In the defensive backfield were a couple of walk-ons. Both Gavin Smith and Jamal Overton were getting plenty of reps during Iowa's scrimmage (granted it was with the three's). Smith is a JUCO walk-on so he has three years to play two at Iowa. It wouldn't surprise me to see him take the field over Overton, Lomax or Law, only because it may be in spot duty and it wouldn't make sense to burn a redshirt. If there was an injury and the role was long term, then maybe we see one of those three.
I've already mentioned defensive lineman Tsopanides and guessed he'll redshirt. Of the other three DL I'd guess that only Darian Cooper has a chance of playing. He looked quick and got right after it in scrimmage. There were whispers that John Raymon might sneak onto the field as a frosh but he was held out of Saturday's scrimmage so I couldn't get a good read on him. Riley McMinn certainly stands out at 6'7". He'll need a year to add some weight to his skinny (for 6'7") frame.
A position I didn't get a good read on Saturday was linebacker. Quinton Alston didn't practice due to an unspecified injury. Marcus Collins carries about zero body fat, maybe he and Collins see the field on special teams. As I mentioned before, there are five LB's in this class and it makes sense to stagger them. I still expect to see up to three of these guys get their feet wet on special teams.
In my previous post I didn't think that either Marcus Grant or Jacob Hillyer were going to play this year. After Saturday I'm ready to revise that. It's possible that one or both see the field. They both are big targets and looked smooth running routes. The question will be how fast they learn the playbook. After Iowa's top three WR's it gets really weird. You have Staggs and Shumpert. And then there is Cotton and a few walk-ons.
What's left? Jordan Walsh and Austin Blythe looked strong at Iowa's scrimmage. This may be the deepest Iowa's been at OL. These guys could compete right away for playing time if Iowa didn't have the excellent depth. If they redshirt they'll both be right there in the mix in 2012.
Jake Rudock. The kid is about 20 pounds from being the sure fire #2 QB on the roster. Along with the year in Doyle's weight training will come the arm strength needed for college football. I think this kid is going to be special, just not this year.
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