It’s getting close, can you feel it? Taste it? Hear it? Smell it? As August nears the sounds of football are becoming louder and louder.
Or maybe I’m just hearing things and need to get my ears checked. Either way, there’s only 32 days until the University of Iowa Hawk-eye football team will take the field.
And that, my friends, is exciting.
Djimon Colbert — sophomore
Shawnee Mission, Kansas (Bishop Miege)
2019 projected: Starting WLB
The biggest thing for our young friend Dijmon Colbert is consistency. Last year was an up-and-down year for the linebacker who started 10 games for the Hawkeyes. He finished with 52 tackles (25 solo, 27 assisted) with one tackle for loss and one pass defended.
Iowa didn’t really have a ton of options at linebacker last year and throughout the season certain teams were able to pick mismatches that they liked against him, especially in pass coverage.
Take, for example, the wheel route that got Nebraska a touchdown last year.
To quote myself from the rewatch of this game last year:
“Nebraska gets the coverage it wants — Colbert on Washington — and Martinez pulls the trigger. The pass is exactly where it needs to be and the freshman back is untouched as he crosses the goal line.”
Colbert isn’t the fastest guy in the world and it showed here. A little disappointing, but hey he’s a freshman. As he gets older and more experienced, he’ll make fewer mistakes and become a better asset for the Iowa defense.
But give it a year or two and I think Colbert could have a huge impact for the Iowa defense. He just needs to get a little faster and his instincts need some work. That, I think will come as he spends more time in the room.
So the outlook? I think positive. As I said, there’s work to be done, but Colbert proved that he could at least play relatively efficiently at the division one level. And for a team that absolutely needed a guy to come in and play, that’s no small thing for the young linebacker.
And man, did he play a lot.
Just a little spring FB chatter starter: Who had Djimon Colbert down for nearly 600 snaps last year? I didn't. Intriguing start to his career. I also can't honestly say what LB will be like in '19. Guessing we see less "star" and more OLB if OLB can hang in coverage.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) March 19, 2019
The future is bright, but as with anyone else on the team, work needs to be done.
We’ll see what Colbert does this year and hopefully it’s even more of an improvement on 2018. Let’s roll.