Iowa football’s depth chart at wide receiver has been flipped.
The two deeps for Saturday’s Big Ten Conference Champions Week encounter against Michigan at Kinnick Stadium were released late Monday afternoon, and they did not contain Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
The senior wide receiver had a huge game this past Saturday in a 28-7 win over Wisconsin, catching seven passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns: one of 19 yards and another from 53.
But Smith-Marsette injured his left ankle following his 53-yard TD after doing a celebratory front flip in the end zone. Smith-Marsette left the field limping shortly after the flip and returned with a protective walking boot on his foot.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 12, 2020
He insisted in a postgame interview that he was going to be fine, but that apaprently is not the case.
“As I’m getting to the end zone, I already had a celebration planned,” Smith-Marsette said, pointing out he was going to act like a bull in honor of the Heartland Trophy his team won for winning the game. “But as I got closer to the end zone, I was, like, by myself. It was just instant, it happened. I’m cool, I’m happy. Do I regret the flip? No. Would I do it again? Probably. I’m just happy we got the win. Everybody was having fun. We came out with the victory.”
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Smith-Marsette was named Monday the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Week for his on-field performance. He has two TDs in each of Iowa’s last two games, including two weeks ago at Illinois.
He is the fourth Hawkeye to win some Big Ten weekly honor this season, following kicker Keith Duncan (Special Teams Player of the Week against Nebraska), Charlie Jones (same honor against Michigan State) and Zach VanValkenburg (Defensive Player of the Week against Minnesota).
“That’s a painful lesson, right? Youthful exuberance,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said of Smith-Marsette's injury. “Ihmir is a spirited guy, a demonstrative guy. It he had been able to nail his landing, maybe it would have been a great move. That’s a painful lesson for me. Hopefully he’ll be able to bounce back. He had a big game today. I was really happy to see him (do that). I know he had family here, so that’s special. He was a big part of the win.”
Hawkeyes tight end Shaun Beyer has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2021 College Gridiron Showcase & Symposium, an indication the senior will not be returning to college football, though he could get a do-over year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The showcase is Jan. 17-21 at Fort Worth, Texas. Participants will take part in combine-style, non-contact drills, attend meetings and get opportunities to interview with pro football personnel. Beyer has the fourth-highest tight end grade in the country, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Iowa athletics department announced it conducted 696 PCR tests for COVID-19 last week and had just one positive case. Since regular testing began in late May, Iowa has had 331 positive coronavirus tests, 11,521 negative tests and one inconclusive test.
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