Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hawkeye Football | Great Moments in Position Change History

I thought I'd take a look at some of the Hawkeye football players that have changed positions at Iowa during the Ferentz era and have or have not had success at those new positions. This post is inspired by AJ Derby's move to linebacker.

Now, I'm not including guys that came to Iowa as a recruit and played a certain position in high school. There are plenty of Robert Gallery from tight end to tackle stories at Iowa. Nope, this is an attempt to recall position moves from the past that happened either in-season or during bowl prep.

Let's begin with some of the not-so-great moves or position switches that didn't work out:

Remember last season when Anthony Hitchens became a running back? Hitchens is currently an outside linebacker at Iowa and practiced as an OLB his freshman season. When Iowa was left thin at running back in 2010 Hitchens made the move to running back as an in case of emergency back. He never saw the field at RB and has since spent all of 2011 at OLB.

What about Cody Hundertmark? Cody saw playing time as a true freshman at Iowa on the defensive line. He then took his second year at Iowa as a redshirt season. In 2009 he again worked with the defensive line and was listed as second team defensive tackle. It was 2010 in Iowa's bowl prep for the Orange Bowl that Hundertmark made the move to offensive guard. Following spring ball Cody was listed as second team but left Iowa that following summer.

Damian Sims came to Iowa as a running back and finished his true freshman season with 17 carries for 45 yards. Sims would move to defensive back in 2005 and start the season opener against Ball State. The switch lasted all of one game at Iowa, he would quickly move back to running back and finish his career with 1504 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Shonn Greene blew up so many people on Iowa's kickoff team that he earned a brief stint as a safety. This was the same season he wowed fans as a freshman bowling his way over Ball State for 116 yards in the season opener. It was the Hawkeyes bowl prep where Shonn got a shot in the defensive backfield. That move didn't stick and Greene would eventually become the Doak Walker Award winner in 2008.

Eric McCollom was a big fan of Brad Banks. So much that the young quarterback from South Carolina came to Iowa to follow in Banks' footsteps. McCollom saw his first action against Arizona State his freshman season taking a snap from shotgun and gaining two yards. His true QB debut came his sophomore season replacing a dehydrated Drew Tate against Kent State. McCollom made the switch to full time receiver in 2005 and had just two catches for 19 yards. He would transfer from Iowa following spring practice in 2006.

How about some position switches that worked out, or may be working out:

Jason Manson was a reserve quarterback at Iowa for his entire career. It was the last few games of his career that Manson made the move to wide receiver. Manson started only one game at quaterback in his career, that being in Syracuse. He was listed as the starter at wide receiver versus Wisconsin and Minnesota at the end of the 2006 season. Manson would collect three total catches for 22 yards.

Brad Rogers took a redshirt his first season on campus. He saw some action at running back in 2010 versus Ball State before making the permanent move to fullback. Rogers has battled health issues but appears to have that in the past and the fullback position locked up for the next two and a half seasons.

Scott Chandler spent his first season at Iowa running fade routes in the redzone. The skinny freshman wide receiver added some weight and made the move to tight end his sophomore year. Chandler went on to earn second team All-Big Ten honors and currently plays tight end in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills.

Jonathan Babineaux started three games as a true freshman at fullback. He would record one rush and one reception, both for four yards. Babineaux would suffer an injury the following season and would make his defensive end debut in 2002. He would eventually move down to the defensive tackle position and currently plays defensive tackle in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons.

Marvin McNutt began his career at Iowa as a quarterback. He showed flashes of ability in 2008 and finished the season with three pass attempts. McNutt made the move to wide receiver during the 2008 season and had one catch against Indiana. McNutt has since tied Danan Hughes and Tim Dwight as Iowa's All-Time touchdown reception leader. With six, maybe seven, games left on Iowa's schedule McNutt needs 497 yards (83 yds/game) to become Iowa's All-Time leading receiver.

Some other guys that have switched:

Tom Donatell started out as a quarterback. He's spent some time at Iowa as a safety and got the start last week against Northwestern as an OLB.

Jonathan Gimm began his career as a tight end but has since made the move to fullback.

I'm sure I've missed some, who are some others you can recall? Leave a comment and let me know.


  1. Dallas Clark making the switch from LB to TE????



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