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Iowa Football Kids Day: Nathan Stanley Shines, Kicker Competition, and Other Notes

There’s a lot to unpack from the annual Kids Day.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa held their annual Kids Day at Kinnick this past Saturday, and while we’ve already touched on some things that happened in this week’s edition of Overreaction Monday, there’s still quite a bit more to unpack.

Let’s start with the players who did not practice: WR Nick Easley, WR Matt Quarrells, OL Tristan Wirfs, OL Levi Paulsen, OL Lucas LeGrand, LB Jack Hockaday, S Brandon Snyder (obviously), LB Nate Wieland, DL Levi Duwa.

All-in-all, there are a few minor injuries in there and it doesn’t seem like anyone who sat out has anything too serious going on. Snyder is an obvious DNP because he tore his ACL just a few short months ago, and Matt Quarrells hasn’t practiced in pads yet, but he just arrived on campus a short time ago and likely doesn’t know the playbook yet. Nothing to see there.

Looks like we have ourselves a good old fashioned kicking competition on our hands, folks! Last year, four different kickers tried their luck at Kids Day, but the Hawks look to have things narrowed down a bit going into 2017. Keith Duncan, who went 9/11 last year after having the best fall camp, is going up against Miguel Recinos, who went 1/3 in 2016, for the first-string duties. Duncan didn’t appear to instill confidence in the staff last year from distance, which is where all three of Recinos’ attempts came from (missed from 50 and 46, hit from 47).

Last year, these guys struggled at Kids Day. This year, things look to be a bit more even and a hell of a lot brighter.

It was also said that Duncan went 5 of 9 on the day and that his long came from about 48 yards out - Mark Emmert’s biggest takeaway from the practice was how much better Recinos looked a year after not being able to secure kicking duties.

Regardless of the takeaways from the day, it’s great to see these guys instill confidence after a year in which Iowa punted from deep in enemy territory a bit too much. Unless, you know, you like punts from inside the 40.

It looks like Iowa is starting to settle in on a quarterback. Marc Morehouse, Chad Leistikow, and Scott Dochterman all wrote pieces about how he looked like the clear first-string quarterback.

Kirk had this to say about going with a two-quarterback system:

Personally, I think it’ll be great if Iowa uses two quarterbacks in the opener. Mainly because if they use two quarterbacks, that means they’re beating Wyoming by about 40 and they’re bringing in the second-stringer to get some garbage time experience. Wait, that’s not what he meant?

Freshman Notes:

  • Freshman Djimon Colbert will be a linebacker at Iowa. He was a cornerback in high school and was projected him to play safety, but it looks like the staff is going to have him bulk up a bit more from his listed 215 pound frame.
  • Ivory Kelly-Martin looks like the real deal and may be the future of Iowa running backs.
  • On top of that, Camron Harrell looks to be a wide receiver for now. He might eventually flip sides of the ball, but it’s a fluid situation.
  • AJ Epenesa was a menace at practice and should get a lot of playing time this year.
  • True freshmen Matt Hankins and Geno Stone both played with the second team defensive backs. Emmert says they looked like they belonged, but a part of you has to wonder if it’s a byproduct of the lack of depth and experience at those positions.
  • Slow down the hype train - Peyton Mansell won’t be factoring in to the quarterback situation this season.

Other notes: