Sprinkling of position changes

Meier's move to DE could show up for the 2013 season

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E-mailer Marc (no relation) alerted me to Nate Meier's position switch.

You might remember Nate Meier.

He was one of the last pickups in the 2012 recruiting class. He played special teams in one game last season (either Central Michigan or Minnesota) and then didn't play the rest of the year. He started August camp as a running back, seemed possibly headed to fullback and †then ended up at linebacker because of the lack of depth there.

Now, according to the current official roster, the 6-2, 235-pound sophomore is a defensive end. (Here's the link.)

Some other position changes others have unearthed by going through the roster:

-- WR Greg Mabin has moved to cornerback.

-- TE Steve Ferentz has moved to O-line.

-- LB Macon Plewa has switched to fullback.

Will any of these moves make a mark for next season?

Iowa needs a pass rush. It also needs depth at DE, so Meier might have the best chance to punch through, depending on where he ends up weight-wise after winter workouts (which go a couple of extra weeks this season with spring practice not starting until March 27).

And even weight might not matter much there. Remember Michigan 2006? Iowa was in desperate need of some sort of pass rush and put a redshirt freshman linebacker named Pat Angerer at defensive, hoping for something, just a little pressure or a push. The problem was the left tackle across from Angerer was Jake Long, a millions of dollars left tackle now for the Miami Dolphins.

The moral of that story is don't get caught up in size at DE. If Meier has the burst (remember, he started his career as an RB), he might be able to provide a pass-rush threat at 240 or so pounds. Former Iowa DE Howard Hughes is a prime example of undersized DE working for Iowa. So is Leroy Smith, Iowa's season sacks and tackles for loss leader.

Meier would have to develop a feel for the pass rush and an understanding for the contain responsibility, but Iowa coaches might have to overlook a few flaws to generate a pass rush that sorely lacked last season.

Greg Mabin has defensive back in his blood.

Read into those what you will ó past performance isnít an indication of future success ó but it's an intangible that could work for you. It also can open doors.

Mabinís dad, Wes, played cornerback for Nebraska, winning two national titles from 1968-71. You might remember Northwestern cornerback Jordan Mabin. Thatís Gregís cousin.

At 6-2, 190, Mabin is an interesting prospect. Also, you kind of figured there might be some movement at WR after Iowa signed five potential wideouts in the 2013 recruiting class.

With Brad Roger's medical redshirt, Iowa does now have room at fullback.

Junior Mark Weisman probably gets a look there. Weisman was a great story as a running back last fall. He also is 235 pounds. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has said the offense had plays with Weisman and running back Damon Bullock on the field at the same time, but injuries to both prevented that from leaving the garage.

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis has a fullback in the plans. Plewa, a sophomore walk-on, adds depth.

Steve Ferentz's new number is 54. His new position probably is center. You could see that one coming. (I thought maybe fullback for a little while after seeing Ferentz play in the open scrimmages last season. He moved pretty well, but OL makes a lot of sense, of course.)

Meier's move has potential to click next season. I have to think the rest will take some time to develop.

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