Iowa Football

Numbers, lineups, observations from Iowa spring football 2018

Yeah, there's a lot of work to do, but that's every Hawkeye spring, right?

IOWA CITY — I wanted to wait and actually watch the scrimmage before I put numbers on things.

I don’t usually show sweat on deadline, but this was a Friday night and I had no idea how long the postgame would take. So, my game charts took a hit.

Hey, Monday is a new day, so here are numbers.

The lineups, which I think are probably more telling for where dudes sit on the depth chart, are courtesy of the Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman (we used to do this back in Scott’s Gazette days).

I’ll stand behind these numbers — for the most part. The BTN practice feed was super tight on the line of scrimmage, so had to do a little rewinding to get close on the yards.



Toren Young — 4 carries for 28 yards

Ivory Kelly-Martin — 7 for 23

Kyshaun Bryan — 10 for 20

Camron Harrell — 11 for 25 (fumble, he recovered)

Brady Ross — 1 for 1

QB Peyton Mansell — 1 for 11

Spring thoughts — It’s going to be RBBC, and Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin will lead the committee. Freshman Henry Geil is coming. A graduate transfer? Probably not, but a healthy James Butler probably wins Iowa a game it lost last season. Bryan has work to do with vision. Harrell is just getting started at RB at Iowa. The red flag here is depth and the fact that the top two backs are largely unproven. Hang onto the fact that Young is the back Iowa likes to have the most — big, can run through wash. Didn’t get a real feel for fullback, but was kind of surprised how much the TEs played the fullback/H-back spot. Feels like that’s another something that could give this offense a dimension.


Nate Stanley — 13 of 23 for 109 yards, no TDs, 2 INTs

Peyton Mansell — 8 of 10 for 77 yards (converted a fourth-down pass; missed an open, easy 6)

Spencer Petras — 2 of 4 for 8 yards

Ryan Schmidt — 3 of 9 for 36 yards, TD

Spring thoughts — Year 2 of Nate Stanley should be better than year 1. That said, don’t freak if he doesn’t hit 26 TDs and just six INTs again. Those numbers could create an expectation. You might trigger if those aren’t met. I’d say, for Stanley, worry more about completion percentage. (I know it was spring, but there were too many makeables not made in the spring game.) Peyton Mansell vs. Spencer Petras? No idea. Petras fits what Iowa likes to have at QB. Mansell could be a Drew Tate clone (we’re talking best case). Petras has the look. That means Mansell will dig in. Going to be 25 interesting practices in August with these two going head-to-head for No. 2.


TE T.J. Hockenson — 2 catches for 22 yards (fumble, four targets)

RB Ivory Kelly-Martin — 2 for 4 (three targets)

TE Noah Fant — Two targets, drop

WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette — 2 for 25 (drop)

WR Brandon Smith — 2 of 9 (four targets)

WR Max Cooper — 8 for 82 (10 targets, only plus-20 gain)

WR Dominique Daffney — 3 for 32 with a TD (four targets)

RB Kyshaun Bryan — 1 for 19

TE Shaun Beyer — 1 for 9

WR Nico Ragaini — Two targets

WR Henry Marchese — Two targets

FB Lane Akre — 1 for 4

RB Camron Harrell — 2 for 7

TE Drew Cook — 1 for 16

TE Bryce Schulte — 1 for 9

WR Drew Thomas — One target


Spring thoughts — Tight end is a super strength. Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson are all-Big Ten caliber (doesn’t mean they’ll be all-Big Ten, they showed that type of skill last season). I still don’t know about WR, but I think everyone who’s being honest is there, too. Ihmir Smith-Marsette has the speed to take the top off a defense. If his game grows, the Iowa WR corps game grows. Probably a lot. We didn’t see WR Nick Easley last weekend. Soft-tissue, he’ll be OK by June. Max Cooper showed this spring that he wants to play. The breakout of the spring game. A neutral spring game for sophomore Brandon Smith. Felt like it was hard for him to get open, but he got four targets. They want to get him going.


Colten Rastetter — 5 punts (34, 37, 44, 42, 44) for 40.2 average (34-yard punt was downed at the 3, CB Matt Hankins)

Ryan Gersonde — 4 punts (52, 38, 33, 46) for 42.25 average (38 punt was downed at the 10)

Spring thoughts — If the punting goes like this during the season, I won’t hear a peep from you guys. Special teams coordinator LeVar Woods believes these are his guys. So far, there’s no reason to doubt. This is a new year and last season, Rastetter and Gersonde were new players. Definitely an encouraging outing from these guys. I also think it’ll be punting by committee again this year. And why not?


Miguel Recinos — 6 for 6 (31, 40, 37, 21, 43, 48)

Keith Duncan — 3 of 5 (40, 37, 43 good; 43 wide right, 48 short)

Caleb Shudak — 4 of 5 (40, 40, 37, 43 good; 48 short)

Spring thoughts — Miguel Recinos is a pro kicker. So consistent. Probably the best leg for an Iowa kicker since ... well, Marshall Koehn. Didn’t have to go that far back! Shudak has built his body in the offseason. His leg seems stronger. Duncan or Shudak will be on the clock after Iowa’s 2018 bowl game. Time to align your stars, guys.

Passes defended

S Amani Hooker — 3 (also a forced fumble)

CB John Milani

S Jake Gervase — 2

DL Chauncey Golston

Spring thoughts — Sometimes with Hawkeyes, I am the last one to reach the obvious conclusion. I want to see as much as I can. I still don’t think I’ve seen enough football from Amani Hooker, but the guy just keeps passing tests and thriving. Friday night, he caused the Hockenson fumble (OLB Barrington Wade recovered) and on the next play, he tipped a ball that Jake Gervase collected for a pick. And then the Pinstripe Bowl. And then vs. Ohio State. I’m in same place with Gervase. I still don’t think I’ve seen enough of him, but since he was inserted back into the lineup last year, he’s been all systems go. Eventually, senior Brandon Snyder is coming back. You have to like how safety sets up for 2018.


CB Michael Ojemudia — blitz

DT Garret Jansen

DL Chauncey Golston

DE Anthony Nelson

DE Jack Kallenberger

Spring thoughts — Golston showed up in a good, destructive way a few times Friday. I really liked how he moved when, on passing downs, Iowa DL did some stunting. Golston might be a fit there. He’s quicker/faster than senior DT Matt Nelson. He’s probably creeping toward a spot as a pass rusher in Iowa’s third-down pass rush. Best football I’ve seen Garret Jansen play. So undersized, but a tenacious character. Last year, in the middle of the Pinstripe postgame, some reporter started gabbing about Anthony Nelson leaving early. At the time, I kind of panicked. I just got finished talking with CB Josh Jackson and C James Daniels. They didn’t announce, but I knew they were going to. Nelson would’ve been another layer of headache, and in that moment and time, I wasn’t ready for that. I’m talking purely from a “how much work do I have to do after working my bleep off during the bowl game.” I don’t think you would’ve been ready for it, either, but from an entirely different perspective.

OK, now we’re going full aside. I wouldn’t be shocked if in the next few years, the NFL doesn’t knock a year off the three-year eligibility thing for college players. Why? Nothing generates buzz like when your team is going to find new players. You see how the draft is covered. The NFL has ratings problems. Somehow, football got insanely political last year. Between politics and pot and the mile-high stack of lawsuits on Roger Goodell’s desk, the NFL will look to change the conversation. Nothing does that like player acquisition. Yes, that would suck for college football, but college football is a volunteer minor league for the NFL. What’s college football going to do if the NFL changed the three-year rule? What can it do? Any, just spitballing. I don’t like this scenario. More and more, I’m college football > NFL. If you feel like it, talk me off this ledge.

QB hurries

DE A.J. Epenesa — 2

Golston — 2

DE Brandon Simon


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Spring thoughts — Thought I saw Brandon Simon playing some inside. It’s all hands on deck on the inside of the D-line. I’m not going to call it the tackle position this year, but “DL.”


Offense — False start, intentional grounding (Mansell)

Defense — Maybe a pass interference late? Unclear.



QB — Nate Stanley

RB — Ivory Kelly-Martin/Toren Young

FB — Brady Ross

TE — Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson

WR — Brandon Smith, Ihmir-Smith Marsette, Max Cooper

LT — Alaric Jackson

LG — Landan Paulsen

C — Keegan Render

RG — Cole Banwart

RT — Tristan Wirfs


TE — Nate Wieting

LG — Mark Kallenberger

WR — Dominique Daffney


WR — Nick Easley, Kyle Groeneweg

OL — Ross Reynolds, Levi Paulsen

FB — Austin Kelly


QB — Peyton Mansell, Spencer Petras

RB — Kyshaun Bryan, Cam Harrell

FB — Lane Acre

WR — Dominique Daffney, Nico Ragaini, Henry Marchese

TE — Shaun Beyer, Drew Cook

LT — Mark Kallenberger

LG — Kyler Schott/Coy Kirkpatrick

C — Levi Duwa/Cole Banwart

RG — Jake Newborg

RT — Dalton Ferguson


QB — Ryan Schmidt

WR — Drew Thomas

TE — Bryce Schulte

FB — Joe Ludwig


RB — Toks Akinribade

OL — Spencer Williams

WR — Devonte Young

TE — Jake Coons


LDE — A.J. Epenesa

LDT — Cedrick Lattimore

RDT — Sam Brincks

RDE — Anthony Nelson

MLB — Amani Jones

WLB — Kristian Welch

OLB — Nick Niemann

LCB — Michael Ojemudia

RCB — Matt Hankins

FS — Jake Gervase

SS — Amani Hooker


Nickel — Manny Rugamba (Jones out)


LB — Aaron Mends

S — Brandon Snyder

DE — Parker Hesse

DT — Matt Nelson


LDE — Brandon Simon

LDT — Brady Reiff

RDT — Garret Jansen

RDE — Jack Kallenberger

MLB — Jack Hockaday

WLB — Djimon Colbert

OLB — Barrington Wade

LCB — Manny Rugamba/Josh Turner

RCB — Trey Creamer

FS — Geno Stone

SS — John Milani


DL — Dalles Jacobus (both DE, DT)

DT — Daviyon Nixon, Austin Schulte

MLB — Dillon Doyle

WLB — Colton Dinsdale

OLB — Nick Anderson

S — Max Duchow, Jack Koerner


CB — Cedric Boswell

LB — Nate Wieland, Kyle Taylor

DE — Romeo McKnight


PR — Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Amani Hooker, Matt Hankins, Nico Ragaini


LS — Jackson Subbert/Nate Vejvoda

LINE (L to R) — Anthony Nelson, Coy Kirkpatrick, Dalton Ferguson, Subbert, Jake Newborg, Kyler Schott, Mark Kallenberger

WBs — Nate Wieting, Shaun Beyer

H — Colten Rastetter/Ryan Gersonde

K — Miguel Recinos, Caleb Shudek, Keith Duncan


LS — Jackson Subbert/Nate Vejvoda

LINE (L to R) — Manny Rugamba, Amani Hooker, Michael Ojemudia, Subbert, Kristian Welch, Barrington Wade, Matt Hankins

UBs — Amani Jones, Garret Jansen, Jack Hockaday

P — Ryan Gersonde, Colten Rastetter

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