Our countdown to the start of the Iowa football season resumes after a brief hiatus. What, you expected us to count EVERY jersey number? It was hard enough when we had to cover numbers 1-99 but adding #0 into the mix a few years back really just broke the writing staff’s spirits. Maybe the higher-ups should take a page out of the Gary Barta playbook and set some achievement standards for our editorial output next offseason. I’m not sure what the writing equivalent of going 7-5 and scoring 25 points per game is, but we have to already be close to clearing that bar, right?
Fortunately, the next player featured in our countdown spends his time far from the endless pit of despair that is the Iowa offense and will look to crack the rotation in a position group that has been a major strength for the Hawkeyes in recent years: defensive line.
Jeremiah Pittman (So.)
6’3”, 290 lbs.
Palatine, IL (Saint Viator)
2023 projection: Rotational defensive tackle
A first-team All-Illinois honoree and the conference division Player of the Year as a senior, Jeremiah Pittman came to Iowa following a decorated prep career in which he played both defensive line and fullback. Despite being described as undersized for a Power Five player at his position, Pittman received offers from several other Big Ten schools such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan State. After redshirting during his first year on campus, Pittman saw the field in three games last season and acquitted himself well in Iowa’s win against Nevada, tallying two solo tackles in the second half of the game including one tackle for loss.
Iowa’s absurd depth at defensive tackle could complicate Pittman’s prospects for seeing more playing time this year, as players like Noah Shannon, Logan Lee, Aaron Graves, Yahya Black, and Anterio Thompson will all be vying for snaps. However, there are reasons to believe Pittman could be in the mix as early as 2023. Pittman was a standout during Spring practice and was identified by Kirk Ferentz as “one of our more improved guys on our football team,” a sentiment echoed by Phil Parker. Pittman’s intellect and work ethic (he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last season), combined with his relentlessly competitive nature on the field, could give him an opportunity to earn minutes this year if he can build off his momentum from the Spring with a strong performance in Fall camp. Whether Pittman manages to break into the rotation in 2023 or not, he is definitely a player to keep an eye on as he progresses in his collegiate career.