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Iowa football: Hawkeye depth chart vs. Illinois

Tyler Goodson is (finally) listed as the starter, Brandon Smith returns, and more.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Iowa football released its depth chart ahead of its home contest against Illinois on Nov. 23, and it’s safe to say Hawkeye fans will be happy.

Wide receiver Brandon Smith is back after missing the last three games with an injury he suffered against Purdue on Oct. 19. He’s listed behind Tyrone Tracy Jr. I think it’s a combination of two things:

  • Slowly acclimating Smith back to his starting role
  • The fact that Tracy has balled out in his absence

Regardless, Smith’s return is excellent news for Iowa; he’s one of the team’s best play-makers. This season, he’s caught 33 passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns.

Tyler Goodson is now Iowa’s starting running back. I feel as though this should have happened a while ago, but then again, I’m not a coach.

Anyway, Goodson got the starting nod against Minnesota last week and it paid off – he played a key role in Iowa’s opening drive, which led to six points (it was also Iowa’s first touchdown on an opening drive since Middle Tennessee State).

Mekhi Sargent is listed as the second-string tailback, and Toren Young follows.

On defense, Kristian Welch returns to his spot at middle linebacker. Against Minnesota, he led Iowa with 11 tackles, six of which were solo. Throw in a sack, 1.5 tackles for a loss, and a pass breakup for good measure, too. Welch had himself a day.

Dillon Doyle was listed as the starter going into Minnesota. This week, he’s Welch’s backup, sharing that role with Jack Campbell.

At cornerback, Michael Ojemudia is not listed. He didn’t play against Minnesota.

Instead, the starting corners will be Matt Hankins (left) and Riley Moss (right). No surprises there.

It’s worth nothing that corner Julius Brents made an appearance on the depth chart this week, backing up Hankins. Brents has appeared in just one game this season, so he can play in three more games and still redshirt this year.