116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Powell talks learning curve
IOWA CITY - No, wide receiver isn't as easy as running fast and catching the ball. You have to know the playbook and find your fit.
Senior Damond Powell is still in that process. Powell came to Iowa City three days before camp started last season. Last season, he caught 12 passes for 291 yards, including a 74-yard tunnel screen for a TD that gave Iowa elbow room in a victory at Minnesota.
In Saturday's spring game, Powell didn't catch a pass. It's OK, he said, it's just spring and wide receiver is an evolving position for the Hawkeyes.
'We have a lot of young guys and they've been playing a lot this spring,” the 5-11, 180-pounder said. 'They're getting comfortable with how things work around here. It starts up front with senior Kevonte Martin-Manley. He's pulling us and that's why we're moving so fast.”
Powell was second on the Hawkeyes last season with 24.25 yards a catch. The Hawkeyes are striving to grow the big-play resume. The receivers are poised to kick it up a gear. Red-shirt freshman Derrick Willies had another impressive spring showing, with five catches for 142 yards Saturday.
Powell will certainly be in those plans.
'That's been my thing this spring, just the development to a full receiver, full-time guy,” Powell said. 'I'm running every route - digs, comebacks. I just wanted to be full-time and that's what I got done this spring. This season should be great for me.”
- Marc Morehouse
No-contact Saturday for Perry
- Junior outside linebacker Travis Perry wore a red jersey meaning no contact during Saturday's spring game. He participated in some special teams drills, but he didn't play defense.
The 6-3, 232-pounder, who earned a scholarship this spring, has had a rough spring session physically.
'Unfortunately for Travis, the last couple of weeks have been really bad for him health-wise,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. 'It was one thing and then another thing. He got sick and lost 12 pounds, the whole 9 yards. The big thing with him right now is to try to get him relaxed and help him realize that he's a valuable guy on our football team. It'll be good to get him back healthy.”
Perry has been No. 2 outside linebacker for the past couple of seasons, sitting behind Christian Kirksey. He's the undisputed No. 1 when healthy. Saturday, red-shirt freshman Josey Jewell, a 6-2, 225-pounder from Decorah, started in his place, with red-shirt freshman walk-on Bo Bower, a former West Branch prep, backing him up.
- Marc Morehouse
No-run zone -
The Hawkeyes really took it easy in the run game Saturday. Senior running back Mark Weisman carried the ball just three times. Ferentz has always said Weisman, a 6-0, 240-pounder, has one speed, fast and straight ahead. Weisman turned it on for one run and you could hear the deep thud of shoulder pads.
And that was about it.
Junior Jordan Canzeri had the highlight rush, a 16-yard TD run. Beyond that, it was a smattering of carries. Sophomore LeShun Daniels had nine carries for 16 yards, just to give you an idea.
On Weisman, 'I don't know how many we're going to give him, but if we can keep him fresh every play,” Ferentz said, 'that's kind of the target.”
Ferentz went down the running back list and said, 'We'll try to figure it out as we go.”
What's it like to have some RB depth?
'It's unusual,” Ferentz said with a laugh.
l Comments: (319) 398-8256; firstname.lastname@example.org