Welcome to the beginning our preview of the 2020 Iowa Hawkeyes football season. It’s legitimately insane to believe we are just 99 days away from the opener against Northern Iowa.
We lead our player previews with a defensive tackle who will factor into Phil Parker’s plans up front. But first, the greatest moment in Iowa football “99” history:
Noah Shannon – RS Sophomore
Montgomery, IL (Oswego)
6’0”, 294 lbs
2020 Projection: Rotational defensive tackle
Shannon came to Iowa as a 3-star defensive tackle and the 11th best 2018 recruit in the state of Illinois, according to 247sports. The Hawkeyes were the first to offer him in 2016 and later received the types of offers you’d figure to see for a player Iowa is interested in – Iowa State, midmajors, and other regional players – as well as Virginia and Duke.
After a brief dalliance with Minnesota, he decommitted from P.J. Fleck and aligned himself with the black and gold.
Looking at his HS tape, he was ready-made as a stout interior lineman with a penchant for getting into opponents’ backfields.
With the bevy of defensive linemen ahead of him, he spent his redshirt year getting down to 294 pounds from a high school weight over 300. Last year, he saw action in many of Iowa’s games and notched a couple tackles. His high point was early on against Rutgers, where he forced and recovered a fumble as the clock wound towards zero.
Though Kirk Ferentz didn’t release an official depth chart since the bowl game, an increased role is projected for Shannon in 2020. As Marc Morehouse wrote, this is the “biological alarm clock year.”
Outside of the years of development, there’s plenty of opportunity for Shannon. After Cedrick Lattimore, Brady Reiff, and A.J. Epenesa departed, Shannon should factor prominently into the Hawk’s preferred eight-man rotation along the line. While he doesn’t necessarily have the versatility to slide outside, his stout frame should enable a guy like Daviyon Nixon to move along the line if he proves worthy of playing time.
A strong season from Shannon will give Phil Parker plenty of options up front as he looks to fill in the gaps of last year’s top 5 defense.