Iowa released a new depth chart ahead of fall football practices, so we should probably take a look at it. I'm also going to compare it to the final depth chart from the spring practice period (available courtesy Hawkeye Drive), so we can see what's changed (not a lot!) and what's remained the same (a whole lot!). Without further ado...
OFFENSE (as of 4/24)
QB: Jake Rudock / Cody Sokol / C.J. Beathard
FB: Cox, Plewa
RB: Mark Weisman / Damon Bullock, Jordan Canzeri
YB: Jake Duzey, Henry Krieger-Coble
WR: Kevonte Martin-Manley, Jordan Cotton
WR: Tevaun Smith, Jacob Hillyer
TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ray Hamilton
LT: Brandon Scherff, Ryan Ward
LG: Conor Boffeli, Mitch Keppy
C: Austin Blythe, Eric Simmons
RG: Andrew Donnal, Jordan Walsh
RT: Brett Van Sloten, Cole Croston
QB: Jake Rudock (SO) / Cody Sokol (JR) / C.J. Beathard (RS FR)
FB: Adam Cox (SO) , Macon Plewa (SO)
RB: Mark Weisman (JR) / Damon Bullock (JR) , Jordan Canzeri (SO)
WR: Kevonte Martin-Manley (JR) , Jordan Cotton (SR) / Jacob Hillyer (SO)
WR: Tevaun Smith (SO) , Don Shumpert (SR)
TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz (SR), Ray Hamilton (JR), Jake Duzey (SO) / Henry Krieger-Coble (SO)
LT: Brandon Scherff (JR), Andrew Donnal (JR), Nolan MacMillan (SR)
LG: Conor Boffeli (SR), Eric Simmons (SO)
C: Austin Blythe (SO), Eric Simmons (SO), Tommy Gaul (JR)
RG: Jordan Walsh (SO), Mitch Keppy (RS FR)
RT: Brett Van Sloten (SR), Ryan Ward (RS FR)
Whither the Y-Back position? It's gone as quickly as it came into our lives. Alas.
Nothing has changed with the QBs, as Ferentz continues to insist that Rudock, Sokol, and Beathard are essentially even. Pat was dubious of that back in the spring, but perhaps Beathard has made strides this summer. We'll find out soon enough.
Amazingly, no change at RB, either. (Now we're doomed.) Iowa enters the year with not just one, but two junior running backs in the depth chart, which feels semi-miraculous. I think DAS PAKIBOMB was the last junior (or older) running back Iowa had on a depth chart and the last time we had two junior (or older) running backs on a depth chart might have been back in 2007, at the tail end of the Albert Young-Damian Sims Era. Anyway.
At WR, Hillyer goes from being Tevaun Smith's back-up to being a joint back-up (with Cotton) to KMM, while Don Shumpert makes a surprise reappearance on the depth chart as Smith's new primary back-up. It is a little interesting that Smith (the Canadian Missile!) appears to have distanced himself from guys like Cotton, Shumpert, and Hillyer, all of whom have been at Iowa longer than him.
With the disappearance of the Y-Back position from the depth chart, Duzey and HKC return to the TE slot, filling in behind The Polish Hat and Hamilton.
Offensive line has seen the most shuffling since spring and also features the only change among the offense's nominal starters: Jordan Walsh replaces Andrew Donnal as the starter at RG. The other OL starters -- Scherff, Boffeli, Blythe, and Van Sloten -- remain the same from the end of spring. Donnal and MacMillan (making his annual return to the depth chart before being afflicted with some new ailment; my money's on scabies this year) are now listed behind Scherff at LT, Eric Simmons is the primary back-up to Boffeli and Blythe, Keppy has gone from back-up at LG to back-up at RG, and Ward has flipped from back-up at LT to back-up at RT. I wouldn't get hung up on the direct positional breakdowns at OL (or WR, for that matter); there's a rotation of players that will play in those spots and it may not correspond perfectly to the demands of the depth chart. In other words, this depth chart probably means that Andrew Donnal is Iowa's sixth-best offensive lineman and that if injuries strike at either G or T spot, he's the most likely guy to fill-in there, depth chart names be damned.
DEFENSE (as of 4/24)
DE: Drew Ott, Riley McMinn / Faith Ekakitie
DT: Carl Davis, Mike Hardy
DT: Darian Cooper, Jaleel Johnson
DE: Dominic Alvis, Daumantas Venckus-Cucchiara
OLB: Christian Kirksey, Travis Perry
MLB: James Morris, Quinton Alston
WLB: Anthony Hitchens, Cole Fisher
CB: B.J. Lowery, Maurice Fleming
CB: Jordan Lomax, Sean Draper
FS: Tanner Miller, Anthony Gair
SS: Johnny Lowdermilk / Nico Law, Ruben Lile
DE: Drew Ott (SO) / Mike Hardy (JR) , Faith Ekakitie (RS FR)
DT: Carl Davis (JR), Jaleel Johnson (RS FR)
DT: Louis Trinca-Pasat (JR), Darian Cooper (SO)
DE: Dominic Alvis (SR), Riley McMinn (SO), Daumantas Venckus-Cucchiara (RS FR)
OLB: Christian Kirksey (SR), Travis Perry (SO)
MLB: James Morris (SR), Quinton Alston (JR)
WLB: Anthony Hitchens (SR), Marcus Collins (JR) / Cole Fisher (SO)
CB: B.J. Lowery (SR), Maurice Fleming (RS FR)
CB: Jordan Lomax (SO), Sean Draper (SO),Gavin Smith (SR)
FS: Tanner Miller (SR), Anthony Gair (RS FR)
SS: Johnny Lowdermilk (JR) / Nico Law (JR), Ruben Lile (RS FR)
At DE, Mike Hardy is now listed as co-starter with Ott, with McMinn and Daumantas Ve-- you know what, we're just going to stick with DVC -- DVC listed as Alvis' primary back-ups at the other DE spot. Hardy has been a reliable source of practice hype in the past, but he hasn't yet translated that into game success yet; Ott flashed a few moments of possibility at the end of last season -- hopefully one of them emerges as a playmaker this year. If not, at least we still have Faith.
At DT, LTP unsurprisingly returns to the ranks of projected starters; he was probably Iowa's best defensive lineman last year (damning with faint praise, I know, but he did look genuinely promising) and would have been listed there in the spring if he hadn't missed all of spring practice with an injury. His return moves Cooper to the back-up ranks, along with Johnson, listed as Carl Davis' main back-up.
There is absolutely no change at the LB spots, other than Marcus Collins becoming a joint back-up (with Cole Fisher) to Htichens. LB might be one of the few spots on the depth chart where you can write the names in ink.
There isn't much change in the secondary, either. Lowery and Lomax are still your starters at CB and Fleming and Draper are still their back-ups (with walk-on Gavin Smith also listed as a back-up there). Tanner Miller is still your starter at FS and Lowdermilk and Law are still listed as co-starters at SS. Nico remains a fan-favorite, but his injury problems this off-season have really opened the door for Lowdermilk to have a shot at starting this year.
SPECIAL TEAMS (as of 4/24)
SPECIAL TEAMS (current)
PK: Mike Meyer (SR), Marshall Koehn (SO)
P: Conor Kornbrath (SO)
LS: Casey Kreiter (SR)
The Aussie heart-throb is gone (but not forgotten!), but that's it.