After weeks and months and what feels like a year, we’re finally back into the familiar rhythm of college football season. Week zero is behind us and while it wasn’t a stellar slate, it was football. We did it!
Now the real fun begins as we start our weekly march toward game day for your Iowa Hawkeyes. That starts on Mondays with our weekly release of the 100% accurate and fully indicative of who will actually start that week depth chart.
In case this is your first rodeo, that last bit is not how this goes. So remember to take this weekly look at the two-deeps from Kirk Ferentz, or whoever it is that actually puts this thing together, with a giant grain of salt. But after months with very limited details and the scare of a Cade McNamara re-injury on Kid’s Day, this week’s first depth chart of the 2023 season is highly anticipated.
So let’s take a look.
- Let’s start by saying, again, that just because this was put out there it does not mean it means literally anything. Recall that last year we saw each depth chart basically be a reflection of how the previous game started, even when we knew things had changed. Players were listed 100 pounds lighter than reality and left that way for weeks. KF does not care about these things. Remember that always and forever.
- Ok, with the disclaimer out there again, it’s time to jump for joy! Or at least breath a sigh of relief. Cade McNamara, who went down on Kid’s Day, is still listed as the starting QB. While that could just be a reflection of the last depth chart thing mentioned above, it’s worth noting the official Iowa Football social media accounts posted Saturday practice photos with McNamara in the huddle. I think we’re OK to assume Cade is back and starting week one.
- Beyond Cade, we didn’t really have any major questions on offense for the opener but worth noting that Daijon Parker is listed as the #2 RT despite missing a bunch of time with injury. This may mean he is finally getting healthy and in position to get some reps Saturday. Similarly, Rusty Feth is listed as the backup LG. Expect the OL to rotate 6-7 guys at minimum early on, including the transfers.
- Outside of that, the only other thing to call out on offense is the presence of OSU WR transfer Kaleb Brown on the 2-deeps for the first time. Ditto Charleston Southern transfer WR Seth Anderson. The latter made some splashes on Kid’s Day and the former has been getting lots of hype in practice reports. The bar for Iowa WR production is a historic lows, but these two have loads of talent. Keep an eye on them Saturday. Also worth a quick note to point out all four WRs listed are scholarship athletes. That’s double what we started with last year. And one of those two listed a season ago didn’t play. Good start for 2023.
- On defense, we knew Noah Shannon was coming off the list. That left a starting role vacated. Looks like Yahya Black will get the start in week one. Expect Aaron Graves to get plenty of run in that mix as well. Jeremiah Pittman, who sits behind Logan Lee, is another high-upside guy who makes the depth chart. A name to monitor that isn’t listed here is IWCC DT Anterio Thompson. He’s a freak athlete in the mold of former Hawkeye Daviyon Nixon and barring injury, should be able to contribute in the middle of this defense. Worth repeating, losing Shannon stinks but this position group was perhaps the best suited to lose a key piece.
- Related to Shannon, it’s worth noting that no other major shakeups appear on defense. There have been rumors of 1-2 defensive backs potentially facing a 2-game suspension related to the gambling stuff. While that may still be the case, nobody is missing on the depth chart. This goes back to the first point, but it is possible Kirk is respecting the wishes of the players here and leaving them on the depth chart since their names are not public yet and will only be forced to show his hand when the new availability report is released 2 hours before kickoff. How ironic that we are now waiting on something created to appease the gamblers to learn the fate of guys suspended for... gambling.
And that’s it for this week. Keep your eyes and ears open for practice reports this week as there are sure to be more guys getting dinged up. We’ll circle back on Saturday with the official availability report when it’s available.