Big Ten Media Days marched on Wednesday with half the league’s coaches taking to the podium. That included Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who was joined in his media availability by CB Cooper DeJean, TE Luke Lachey and LB Jay Higgins. This Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes so there weren’t a ton of meaty takeaways from Wednesday’s media availability.
There was, however, a minor news dump from the Hawkeyes in advance of the presser as Iowa released its official fall camp depth chart on Wednesday morning.
- No change from the spring depth chart at basically any of the offensive positions. QB, RB, WR and TE are all identical to what we last saw a few months ago. This is despite the additions of WRs Seth Anderson and Kaleb Brown via the portal. While that might otherwise be normal, it’s notable given there were changes elsewhere for transfers.
- Similarly, no changes at DL or DB. This is most notable given DT Noah Shannon announced his involvement in the NCAA gambling investigation. It’s also worth pointing out there are rumors of at least one DB being involved in that same investigation, though no names have been leaked on that front.
- Elsewhere on defense, Virginia transfer Nick Jackson arrives on campus and immediately slots in at backup MLB behind Jay Higgins. That pushes Jaden Harrell off the depth chart. Again, notable because Jackson is a late arrival but unlike Anderson or Brown, he appears on the depth chart.
- Staying at linebacker, Carson Sharar and Kyler Fisher flip at WLB. Kelby Terlander falls off at Leo/Cash and Jaxon Rexroth moves up with only two players listed there vs. three in the spring.
- At fullback, Eli Miller is reportedly out for the season. He’s replaced on the depth chart by transfer TE Hayden Large, who is listed at 6’5” and 250 pounds. That seems.... large for a fullback. Is Brian Ferentz looking at turning the FB into an H-back?
- And finally, there are loads of changes - DeJong goes from starting RT to starting LG, bumps Colby from starting LG to backup, that moves Tyler Elsbury from backup LG to backup C, which pushes Michael Myslinski off the depth chart. As with Nick Jackson, Rusty Feth arrives on campus late and slots right in at backup RG. That pushes Gennings Dunker over to starting RT while Daijon Parker, who was hurt all spring, remains at backup RT.
Whew. What does all of it mean? Probably nothing. Again, Kirk Ferentz treats his depth charts like he does his passing offense: as ancillary to everything else that is going on. But some things to keep an eye on as we move into fall camp here shortly.
In addition to the depth chart, the Hawkeyes also released their fall 2023 media guide on Wednesday. There’s nearly 300 pages worth of information in the media guide but a few things stand out at first glance.
For starters, senior Noah Shannon notably opted not to attend Big Ten Media Days despite being announced as one of Iowa’s three representatives. That comes as he announced he is one of the handful of Iowa football athletes currently under investigation by the NCAA for gambling. Virtually no details on what exactly the players are accused of doing or who even is involved has been released to-date. But it is notable that it was Shannon, not Kirk Ferentz, who opted to forego attending Media Days. It’s also notable that Shannon is front and center on the cover of the media guide for 2023. It would seem the coaching staff cares much less about Shannon’s involvement in this “scandal” than the NCAA. For an organization that has basically ceased to enforce any rules for a decade plus, that’s saying something.
Another interesting tidbit is defensive back AJ Lawson does not appear to be listed on the roster entering fall camp. Lawson has yet to see game action but was entering his redshirt junior season. The only other player absent since spring practice is..... former QB Spencer Petras.