Iowa Football

Iowa football: The new phone books are in! (It's really just the first two deeps of the season)

There are a few surprises, new faces at kicker and punter and a change at tight end

Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (77) tosses the football with a teammate during the 2019 University of Iowa Football Media Day in Iowa City on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (77) tosses the football with a teammate during the 2019 University of Iowa Football Media Day in Iowa City on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — This might not stand up through the opening kick Aug. 31 against Miami (Ohio), but the first Iowa two deeps landed Friday afternoon with a few surprises.

— It appears senior Drew Cook has passed junior Shaun Beyer for one of the tight end spots. Going into the season, Beyer was listed along with senior Nate Wieting. Now going into next weekend’s opener, it’s Cook, a fifth-year senior from Iowa City who made the transition to tight end from quarterback in spring 2017.

Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz was asked about the tight ends this week.

“I thought Shaun Beyer had a nice camp and Drew continues to do good things,” he said. “After that, we’re going to have to find out where the rest of that depth is going to come from.”

Beyer did suffer a meniscus tear and had knee surgery in October last year. That kept him out of bowl prep and limited him in spring practice.

Cook and Beyer do have short resumes. They combined for 48 snaps and just one target last season.

— Only two receiver spots are listed, so the staff did not show its hand on who starts at slot receiver between Nico Ragaini and Tyrone Tracy. Just going off what’s been shown in spring and summer, it’s probably Ragaini with Tracy rotating in. It’s more than likely a rotation.

— The guard positions have broken down to Landan Paulsen holding down left guard and Levi Paulsen and Cole Banwart sharing the right guard spot.

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— There’s a giant, bold “OR” in caps between quarterbacks Spencer Petras and Peyton Mansell. Let’s go with no decision or a deferment to head coach Kirk Ferentz and his news conference next week.

Brian Ferentz said this week running backs Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young have separated from the pack. Junior Ivory Kelly-Martin has the last depth chart spot.

— At kicker, junior Caleb Shudak is listed ahead of junior Keith Duncan. That’s more than likely going to stay active until someone proves it in a game.

— At punter, Michael Sleep-Dalton is listed ahead of senior Colten Rastetter. Sleep-Dalton is a graduate transfer from Arizona State. Generally, a team doesn’t bring in a grad transfer for the heck of it.

— Defensive coordinator Phil Parker hinted this week there might be a change at free safety. Going into camp, sophomore Kaevon Merriweather held the position. Parker talked up sophomore walk-on Jack Koerner. Going into Miami, it’s Merriweather listed ahead of Koerner.

— Iowa’s defense is in the era of sub packages, so don’t read a ton into the depth chart. Snaps will go with the personnel groups. Redshirt freshman D.J. Johnson is listed at the cash safety and No. 2 left corner.

— It looks like walk-on Turner Pallissard with pair with senior Brady Ross at fullback. Pallissard is from Frankfort, Ill.

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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