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90 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Taajhir McCall

The redshirt freshmen may see game action in a pass rusher role

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

Our next Hawkeye sat out last year during his redshirt year.

Was this the high point of the number 90?

Probably not, but it was wild.

Taajhir McCall - RS Freshman
Pensacola, FL (Pine Forest)
6’3”, 226 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve defensive end

McCall committed to Iowa late in the 2019 recruiting cycle as attrition hit Iowa’s defensive line. The Florida product picked Iowa over Army and Navy and is an engineering major.

His tape shows all the hallmarks of a typical Hawkeye defensive end, despite his size. He does an excellent job providing containment, can power through offensive linemen, and and shows a speed and relentlessness in pursuing ball-carriers. He finished with 88 tackles and 11 sacks his senior year which helped him get named area Defensive Player of the Year. In classic Iowa fashion, he was a two sport athlete, lettering in basketball all four years.

Now the question of what becomes of his redshirt freshman season. With Joe Evans (and Amani Jones to an extent) breaking down the door of “edge defenders” who do not fit into Iowa’s prototypical defensive end body, McCall is not held back by his size to get onto the field. If he develops into a rush end in passing down situations, it would give Iowa’s defensive line the ability to be more versatile with linemen like Chauncey Golston and Daviyon Nixon who can get to the quarterback from the tackle spots.

If he doesn’t play, it’s not an indictment of his talent or Iowa’s scheme, though. He’s one of many underclassmen Phil Parker is using to fill the gaps of the linemen who departed Iowa’s system over the last couple of years. It’s just impossible to tell where he stands without any on-field activities since the bowl game.