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CHICAGO — The Sean Welsh-to-center thing really seems to be a go. The junior from Springboro, Ohio, was listed as the No. 1 center in the Iowa two deeps released Monday at Big Ten media days.
Earlier this month, Welsh said, yeah, he thought maybe he would be the center for the Hawkeyes this fall. He played center this spring after moving inside from guard to replace James Daniels, who sat out of spring practice with a knee injury.
“As far as I know, yes,” Welsh said. “It’s all their call, (coaches) have the final say.”
Welsh started 12 games at guard last season and two at right tackle. The versatility probably is a huge factor in this.
“I heard (O-line coach Brian Ferentz) say once that if we were playing tomorrow, I would be the center,” Welsh said. “I don’t know if he still feels that way.”
Welsh’s career at center is off to a great start. Without playing a down at the position, he was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list in June. The award goes to the nation’s top center.
“My first thought was someone must’ve messed up,” Welsh said. “It’s an honor, it really is, but we have a lot of football to play and I haven’t even played there.”
Daniels is listed as starter at right guard.
— Desmond King and C.J. Beathard are on the cover of Iowa football’s 2016 media guide.
No, that’s not surprising, especially given the fact that Iowa did two sets of preseason posters with each player being featured.
Some other quick notes:
— Incoming freshman cornerback Lance Billings and junior defensive tackle Brant Gressel are not listed on the roster.
— In the league’s “players to watch,” Beathard and King were named to the West Division list along with Northwestern running back Justin Jackson, Northwestern linebacker Anthony Walker and Wisconsin running back Corey Clement. In the East, it was Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Michigan State DL Malik McDowell, Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
— Dominique Dafney is listed as a 6-1, 213-pound sophomore on Iowa’s roster. He played last season at Iowa Western Community College and caught one pass for 5 yards. Dafney was a fifth receiver and mostly played on special teams.
— There were no notable changes in the defensive two deeps since this spring.
— On offense, sophomore Jay Scheel is listed as an “OR” as a starter at split end with sophomore Jerminic Smith.
Senior Steve Ferentz is listed as the No. 2 center. Sophomore Lucas LeGrand is a No. 2 at left guard.
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