The Daily Iowan

Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

Iowa+quarterback+Nate+Stanley+drops+back+to+pass+during+the+Iowa%2FIllinois+football+game+on+Saturday%2C+7+Oct.+2017.+Iowa+won+the+game+45-16.+%28David+Harmantas%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley drops back to pass during the Iowa/Illinois football game on Saturday, 7 Oct. 2017. Iowa won the game 45-16. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley drops back to pass during the Iowa/Illinois football game on Saturday, 7 Oct. 2017. Iowa won the game 45-16. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan

David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley drops back to pass during the Iowa/Illinois football game on Saturday, 7 Oct. 2017. Iowa won the game 45-16. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, [email protected]

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s football season again. Well, kind of. The Iowa football team will kick off its spring season today in preparation for its season opener against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1.

A new depth chart was released just before head coach Kirk Ferentz’s press conference on Tuesday, and there are quite a few noticeable differences from last year’s depth chart. Many of the conspicuous changes come on the defensive side of the ball.

At cornerback, Michael Ojemudia and Matt Hankins are listed as the starters over veteran Manny Rugamba, who was inconsistent last year after a solid freshman campaign.

Another impressive freshman last year along with Hankins is defensive end A.J. Epenesa, who is listed as the second-string right end behind Parker Hesse.

But perhaps the biggest difference is the change in the linebacker corps. With Josey Jewell, Ben Niemann, and Bo Bower all graduating, there are three open spots occupied by players without significant game experience.

Right now, Kristian Welch mans the mike linebacker position, while Nick Niemann and Aaron Mends roam on the outside.

However, the depth chart isn’t set in stone. There is still a lot of work to be done until the first game rolls around.

“I say it to our players every year, the depth chart right now is pretty meaningless,” Ferentz said. “We have guys that are experienced that probably shouldn’t be beat out, but they still have to go and do it on the field. That’s their job. Their job is not only to practice but practice well and improve.”

Nixon to academic redshirt

Sticking with the defense, Ferentz also announced that three-star defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, a transfer from Iowa Western, is going to academic redshirt this year, meaning he will not see the field.

While Nixon can still practice with the team and develop as a player, he won’t make an impact in games as he could have before he was tagged. Nixon has been on campus since January and is transitioning well, Ferentz said.

Ferentz said the coaching staff knew the academic redshirt was a possibility, and he thinks it will be good for Nixon.

“The good news is he’s been on campus a couple months now,” Ferentz said. “We know a lot more about him now than we did back in December. He’s been great. He just has a great attitude. He works hard, and he’s got a positive attitude. He’s significantly talented on top of that, so it’s going to be good for him.”

Captain Nate Stanley

Stanley had an impressive season in his first full year under center, tossing 26 touchdown passes (one shy of the Iowa season record) to just 6 interceptions.

That performance, along with the leadership he has displayed, earned him a spot as a captain for the 2018 season.

While he certainly grew in numerous aspects throughout the season, there are still things he can improve on that could help his stats go up even more, which Ferentz hopes for.

“Probably being a little more decisive, a little quicker in everything he does,” Ferentz said. “He grew tremendously in all areas, but one area I’ll point out is leadership. I don’t know how many votes for captain he would have gotten, and same with Josh [Jackson], I don’t know how many votes they would have gotten for captain in August.

Comments

comments

About the Writer
Pete Ruden, Sports Editor
Pete Ruden is the Sports Editor at the DI, where he has worked since the beginning of his college career. He has covered a variety of sports at the DI, including football, men’s basketball, baseball, wrestling, and men’s tennis. Currently a junior, he served as a sports reporter his freshman year, before becoming the Assistant Sports Editor his...
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Football

    Iowa football’s road to the Big Ten championship is a long one

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Football

    Point-Counterpoint: Who will win the Big Ten West?

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Featured

    Former Hawkeye C.J. Beathard takes over for 49ers

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Football

    Hensley: The Big Ten West is Wisconsin’s to lose now

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Football

    Hornibrook’s big day against Hawkeye football comes at a big time

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Football

    Report card: How did Iowa football look against Wisconsin?

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    DITV

    DITV: Iowa football falls to Wisconsin

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Featured

    Twitter reactions from Wisconsin’s win over Iowa

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Featured

    Special-team mistakes cost Iowa in loss to Wisconsin

  • Spring depth chart brings changes to Iowa football

    Featured

    Wisconsin’s dagger drive ruins Iowa’s hope for an upset