INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
| || |
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said early this week that he wanted to get “some semblance” of a two deep together for week 1. He said there were decisions to make and players to evaluate.
Three days later, the No. 17 Hawkeyes depth chart certainly has unfamiliar names going into their opener against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 3 at Kinnick Stadium.
— There are a lot of new names, but there also are only four first-time starters (wide receiver Jay Scheel, fullbacks Drake Kulick or Brady Ross, defensive ends Anthony Nelson/Matt Nelson and free safety Brandon Snyder).
— The other part of that story is the number of starts some of the newer names have had. For example, center/guard James Daniels started once last season as a true freshman. Senior wide receiver Riley McCarron also has had one career start. Obviously, some profiles are going to/will need to bloom.
— Eight true freshman are listed. Ferentz said Monday he thought six to 10 true freshmen could play this season. Kicker Keith Duncan is listed as a potential starter. Ferentz said Tuesday the kicker position could go through September, with Miguel Recinos and Mick Ellis in the hunt.
Here’s Duncan’s resume (it’s impressive):
Keith Duncan – 2016 (K)
Weddington High School (N.C.) and Private Training
Senior Year (2015)
• NCHSAA State Record Holder - Most Career FGs at 51 (former 38)
• NCHSAA State Record Holder – Most FGs in a Season at 22 (former 20, set by NFL’s Connor Barth)
• NCHSAA State Record Holder – Most Consecutive PATs at 104 (former 77)
• NCHSAA State Record Holder – Most field goals beyond 50 yards in a season at 5
• Ranked No. 1 in the nation for field goal stats and kick scoring this year on MaxPreps
• 2015 MaxPreps All-America Football Team (K)
• 2015 Associated Press All-State Prep Football Team for North Carolina (K)
• 2015 NCPreps All State Football Team (K)
• 2015 S.C.C. Special Teams Player of the Year (UCHSF) Union Co. High School Football
• 2015 All-Observer High School Football Team (Charlotte Observer) (PK)
• 2015 Special Teams Player of Year (Union County Weekly)
• 2015 All-UCHSF (Union Co. High School Football) First-Team Offense (K)
• A top 3 national semifinalist for the 2015 Chris Sailer Award
• Student-Athlete of the Year Recipient by Charlotte Touchdown Club, awarded Dec. 7, 2015 at national collegiate Bronko Nagurski Awards
• Starting Varsity K 4th consecutive year – team reached quarterfinals in post-season
• Broke his own record for most FGs in regular season (22) for Union County
• 22/26 FGs, five of which were from 50 yards or longer (3 Blocked)
• 17/19 FGs from 49 yards and in (both misses were because of blocks)
• Average KO distance 65 yards
• 2015 Kicker of the Year, presented by Greater Charlotte Football Awards at 5th Annual Banquet on Dec. 6. Recipient of same award in 2014 as well.
• NC/SC Shrine Bowl finalist (K/P)
• Carolina Gridiron Pre-Season All-Gridiron Team (K)
• 2015 NCPreps Pre-Season 3A All-State Team (Special Teams/K)
• Only (K) named to Charlotte Observer-Area Football Players to Watch List (10 players)
• First listed in South Charlotte Sports Report’s pre-season 25 Gridiron Greats for 2015
• One of only 4 players mentioned as a pre-season Top Player in Union County News
• Raised $1,459 for Kick-It to raise funds/awareness for pediatric cancer (beat goal of $1,000) ($3/FG; $1/PAT)
• O-D All-American Game Invite
• 53-yard FG vs. Forest Hills Aug. 28, 2015, Game 2 of the season
• 48-yard FG vs. Country Day 10/1/15 to tie N.C. High School career state record
• 54-yard FG vs. Anson Oct. 29, 2015, to beat N.C. High School career state record
• 50-yard FG vs. Crest Nov. 17, 2015 to tie NCHSAA most FGs in a season record, then beat it same game
• Top Performer as named by the Charlotte Observer Oct. 1, 2015
• Week 3 Fan Vote Winner For MVP – South Charlotte Sports Report
• 4.08/3.4 GPA weighted/unweighted (4.0 scale) as of Oct. 1, 2015 ACT: 25
• Straight A’s this entire senior year; Honors/AP classes. GPA will definitely advance further at semester end
• Mentored and provided instruction to up and coming kickers – middle schoolers and other varsity/JV kickers
— Iowa coordinators revealed Tuesday that true freshman defensive tackle Cedric Lattimore, cornerback Manny Rugamba and wide receiver Devonte Young would play this season. They’re on the two deep. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker said he was looking for a place for true freshman linebacker Amani Jones, who’s listed as co-backup at weakside linebacker with sophomore Aaron Mends.
Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis talked about the rise of true freshman quarterback Nathan Stanley during camp. Stanley is listed as the co-backup with sophomore Tyler Wiegers.
True freshman safety Amani Hooker and outside linebacker Kristian Welch also made the two deep, with Welch being a bit of a surprise.
— Sophomore Jay Scheel is listed ahead of sophomore Jerminic Smith at the X wide receiver spot. Scheel missed some camp, but came on strong at the end to claim the spot. Both should play a ton.
— It might be a typo, but junior Sean Welsh is listed at center and sophomore James Daniels is the right guard. Most if not all of camp, Daniels played center and Welsh was the right guard.
— Ferentz announced Tuesday that senior Ron Coluzzi had won the punter spot over redshirt freshman Colten Rastetter. That appears to have held. Coluzzi is is kickoff specialist and the holder.
— The “Cinderella story, outta nowhere” is redshirt freshman Brady Reiff. During Iowa’s open scrimmage on Aug. 13, Reiff’s right leg was in a boot, so he probably had an ankle injury and didn’t participate. During spring practice, Reiff rotated with the second group. The 6-3, 250-pounder must’ve had one of the better camp performances down the stretch.
— You’ll find the game notes in PDF form below.