Our next Hawkeyes are a troika of freshmen who have various likelihoods of playing time.
Before that, let’s enjoy some Clinton Solomon.
People forget how good Solomon was. Onwards!
Lena, IL (Lena-Winslow)
6’2”, 265 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve defensive end
Bruce committed to Iowa in November 2018, well ahead of many in his class. He held an offer from Iowa State at the time. A three-star lineman, he was a three-sport athlete and lined up all over the field for his high school team.
He comes to Iowa with some opportunity to immediate playing time. Phil Parker has not shied away from freshman defensive linemen (A.J. Epenesa & Cedrick Lattimore come to mind) and with the departures in the middle, the 265-lb Bruce may find himself in contention for a backup spot.
Though many of his highlights are of him on offense, it demonstrates the quick feet he has for such a big kid. Since his school was 1A, he wasn’t always playing the best competition but regularly shined as the best athlete on the field. Whether that that translates into immediate playing time is, of course, to be determined.
The most likely outcome is probably Bruce getting garbage time action against lesser competition in up to four games and retaining his redshirt.
Jackson Frericks - RS Freshman
Cedar Falls, IA (Cedar Falls)
6’6”, 216 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve tight end
Frericks joined the Iowa football team as a preferred walk-on, turning down a similar opportunity at Iowa State. At 6’6” he’s got more height than past Hawk tight ends and certainly has a ways to go, weight-wise to be in line there. However, he’s got solid tape on a team which finished second in the state.
He finished his senior year with 29 catches for 346 yards and makes plays at all three levels of the field. The big question is whether he can turn into a force in the run game given his current frame. Additionally, there are just so many tight ends ahead of him, he might struggle finding a way onto the field as a Hawkeye.
He’ll likely have an impact in ways we don’t see, primarily the scout team. If he can show capabilities there, maybe it translates onto the field in the coming years.
Mason Richman - Freshman
Leawood, KS (Blue Valley)
6’6”, 260 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve offensive lineman
As with many lineman, Richman was recruited on both sides of the ball. He committed to Iowa over Kansas and Kansas State, two teams who also saw his future on the offensive line.
Not only does he have a solid frame to pack the pounds on, but his athleticism is impressive. JP noted in his write-up that he’s already tallied a 31” vertical and 10’2” broad jump. He was able to enroll early at Iowa and get some lifting in before COVID-19 sent everyone home ahead of spring ball.
He’s got the length, athleticism, and mean streak but is probably more developmental in his technique.
Like Bruce above, he may see some time in garbage time of a couple games in order to retain his redshirt while building game experience.