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Logan Wolf back on the field for UNI football after long wait with stubborn injuries
He caught his first TD pass in 1,029 days in last week’s season opener
CEDAR FALLS — Logan Wolf’s Northern Iowa football career hasn’t gone as planned.
After bursting onto the scene during the 2019 season in which he red-shirted and played only four games, Wolf’s career has since featured frustrating stops and starts due to a pandemic and pair of stubborn injuries.
Now, after another rehab that seems to have proved effective, Wolf punctuated his long-awaited return with his first touchdown catch in 1,029 days last Saturday at Air Force.
“It definitely would’ve felt better (if we won), but being able to be out there — I think I played more snaps in this last game than I did all of last season — it’s definitely a confidence booster for me,” Wolf told The Gazette.
Shoulder and hamstring injuries are to blame for Wolf’s lost time at wide receiver. And a reaggravation of the hamstring injury during rehab is largely to blame for missing most of last season.
As summer workouts and preseason camp progressed toward this season, though, Coach Mark Farley’s comments about the 6-foot-4, 202-pound wideout were encouraging, but tempered.
Wolf’s frustrating rehab of his hamstring had everyone, including himself, knowing that he would need to be brought along methodically and that ultimately nothing short of getting back into game action could provide the confidence he needed.
“Logan’s a difference-maker (and) he was probably playing at 90 percent,” Farley said of Wolf’s performance at Air Force last week. “It’s probably more so consciously that he’s just got to get confident because it’s been two years since he played. For him, to get through the game, I thought that was very important for his psyche moving forward.”
Wolf is part of an overhauled wide receiver group UNI features this season.
Returnees Quan Hampton, Deion McShane and Sam Schnee each started last Saturday’s season opener. But Wolf received more snaps than any of the other five receivers that got into the game.
That snap count, amid a crowded group of wide receivers, was proof of his renewed health and his ability to keep the respect of the coaching staff despite being sidelined for so long.
“The great thing about Logan is he’s so football intelligent that he can play all four spots at wide receiver,” UNI wide receivers coach Joe Ganz said. “So we’ve utilized him in creating different matchups, because he is tall and he can run and he will be physical.”
Moving forward, Wolf is hoping to continue rebuilding confidence in his body and his play, while also doing what he can to help a group of seniors he holds in high regard reach lofty goals this season.
“We always want to say national championship, but it always starts with the (Missouri Valley Football Conference), because it’s obviously the best league in FCS football,” Wolf said. “If we can win the conference then we’ve got a very good chance of getting where we want to go.”
UNI travels to Grand Forks, N.D., Saturday for its MVFC opener at North Dakota (0-1). Kickoff is at 3 p.m. (ESPN3).