Like yesterday, two seniors will be wearing jersey #17 this year. Each has had little to no action but both have stayed with the program for at least four years. These are the type of athletes that are essential to make a program work. Hopefully 2019 is their year to show their stuff.
Devonte Young — Senior
Waldorf, MD (North Point)
6’0”, 203 lbs
2019 Projection: Backup Strong Safety
Ryan Schmidt — RS Senior
Marion, IA (Linn-Mar)
6’5”, 237 lbs
2019 Projection: Reserve QB
Young came to Iowa as a first-team all-state defensive back from Maryland. He was recruited, however, as a wide receiver. As they tend to do at Iowa, things change, and a position switch to defensive back occurred before last season. Young should have some opportunities this year.
His stat line is very interesting as he’s played in 36 games over the past three years but hasn’t really racked up any stats. He has a total of four tackles on special teams and three kickoff returns for 64 yards.
This year Young should see time on special teams and he is listed as the backup at strong safety behind Geno Stone. If he gets some playing time and the defensive line plays as anticipated, I predict Young will grab a couple interceptions this year.
Schmidt is a local product (Linn-Mar High School) that played football, basketball, and baseball in high school and joined the Hawkeyes as a walk-on in 2015.
He often runs the scout team as the upcoming opponent’s quarterback so his jersey number changes week to week. Schmidt’s father, Rick, was a three year letter winner at defensive back for Iowa under Hayden Fry so Ryan is a Hawkeye to the core.
In an interview prior to last year’s Outback Bowl, Schmidt said, “My whole family went here and I grew up a lifelong Hawk,” Schmidt said. “To get the chance to play here was a tremendous opportunity and something I dreamed of my whole life. I’m grateful to be part of the team and I give my all every day.”
This will be his fifth year with the program and he’s hoping for the “Rudy” treatment this year as he hasn’t seen any game action so far in his career.