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88 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Isaiah Bruce & Jackson Frericks

The Hawkeyes didn’t get playing time in 2020 but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the same in 2021

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Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Our next Hawkeyes are a pair of youngsters who didn’t see game action in 2020.

Isaiah Bruce - RS Freshman
Lena, IL (Lena-Winslow)
6’2”, 273 lbs
2021 Projection: Reserve defensive lineman

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.

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.

Bruce is intriguing because he gained just 8 pounds in his redshirt season, which shows his 273 pounds is pretty close to his playing weight. He wasn’t featured on Iowa’s depth chart at any defensive line position which shows he may not quite have a home (273 would be the biggest end but lower than the two tackle starters). However, he did get significant reps as many ahead of him were injured.

The most likely outcome remains Bruce easing into some playing time if Iowa gets comfortable but there is opportunity for him to get into that top 8.

Jackson Frericks - Sophomore
Cedar Falls, IA (Cedar Falls)
6’6”, 215 lbs
2021 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, especially with his slighter frame.

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.