Welcome to the beginning our preview of the 2021 Iowa Hawkeyes football season. First up is:
Noah Shannon – RS Junior
Montgomery, IL (Oswego)
6’0”, 288 lbs
2021 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. In 2019 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.
Ahead of 2020, Marc Morehouse wrote it was the “biological alarm clock year.” The alarm didn’t go off, with Jack Heflin’s arrival, but he did see his action step up with appearances (including a start against Nebraska) and tallied 11 tackles with a sack.
Outside of the years of development, there’s plenty of opportunity for Shannon. With Heflin & Daviyon Nixon having departed, Shannon has taken the top line of the depth chart at defensive tackle. While he doesn’t necessarily have the versatility to slide outside, his stout frame could enable a guy like Yahya Black to move along the line.
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 10 defense.