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77 Days until Hawkeye football: Connor Colby

Iowa’s best line is if Connor Colby spends the season at guard

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress / USA TODAY NETWORK

Welcome back to our countdown to the Iowa Hawkeyes football season. We’re continuing along the offensive line with a local kid who had an up-and-down sophomore season.

Connor Colby, Jr.
6-6, 308 lbs.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Kennedy)
2023 projection: starting right guard

Colby came to Iowa as part of the 2021 class with as decorated an offer list as you’ll find this part of the Mason-Dixon. The four-star lineman selected Iowa over Ohio State & Michigan and one look at his high school tape shows why. He had ready-made size, impressive speed, and a real mean streak.

He came to Iowa for the spring 2021 session and was able to assert himself in the two-deeps by fall camp, where he entered as Iowa’s backup right tackle. As mentioned as part of the previous write-up, injuries had their way with the Hawkeyes’ starting line. His start against Colorado State at right guard was the first for a true freshman since Tristan Wirfs in 2017. He had success there and held down the fort for the final 11 games of the season.

For his efforts, he was named a freshman all-American by at least two outlets and entered the 2022 season as the highest ceiling prospect on Iowa’s line. Most notably, Phil Steele tabbed him as a preseason all-conference selection (second team).

Iowa’s inconsistency & injuries at tackle forced Colby outside. It was a decision which made sense but was probably over-extended by a couple weeks. He shifted to left guard in Iowa’s eighth game (Northwestern) and continued there through the rest of the season. The Hawkeyes went from rushing 81 yards a game to 111 over those final six.

With the influx of portal talent along the line, but most notably Daijon Parker at tackle, this should free up Colby to play his best at a position he’s best. While the guard-to-tackle pipeline might be drying up, it doesn’t mean that having great guards is a bad thing. Play guys where they can play their best. If Colby continues his freshman year trajectory, he could have a decision to make at the end of the season.