The Men: P Ryan Donahue, K Daniel Murray, K Trent Mossbrucker, KR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Jewel Hampton, PR Colin Sandeman, LS Andrew Schulze
The Contingencies: P Eric Guthrie, K Jonny Mullings, K Mike Meyer, KR Brandon Wegher, PR Jordan Cotton, KR Adam Robinson, KR Paul Chaney Jr., LS Charlie Knipper
I expect some debate here, mostly at kicker.
Kicker is a work in progress.
Here’s Kirk Ferentz at the end of spring practice:
“It’s been underwhelming, quite frankly,” Ferentz said. “We’ve been very inconsistent. We’ve flashed, but we haven’t been consistent. I’m not sure what’s the cause of that, but we’re not consistent like we need to be, at this point, with that position.”
The only other time Ferentz described a position group as “underwhelming” was spring 2004, when he referred to the receivers that way. That group included Clinton Solomon and Ed Hinkel, both of whom are among Iowa’s top 10 in receptions.
Murray made 19 of 26 field goals last season. His 19 field goals tied for the Big Ten lead and his 73.1 percentage was fourth. Mossbrucker took a redshirt in ‘09. As a true freshman, Mossbrucker made 13 of 15 field goals.
The winner will be one of those two. The only other contestants are Mullings and Meyer, first-year players with no history. Mullings will get a shot at kick offs. Meyer, a walk-on, could make some waves. But the winner here will be Murray or Mossbrucker. Going off performance in the spring practice — a sliver of what they’d be evaluated on — I’d guess Mossbrucker.
Long way to go here, though.
Punter is locked down. Donahue averaged 40.9 yards a kick with opponents averaging just 5.7 yards a return. He had 12 punts of 50-plus yards and dropped 27 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Guthrie, a junior, is the backup. The competition with Mullings begins in 2011.
Pretty good debate going on in the comments of a few other posts. Readers don’t seem to want DJK anywhere near kickoff returns. He averaged 31.8 yards (second in the Big Ten) on 12 kick returns (more returns than any other Hawkeye). He returned Iowa’s first kick for a TD in 242 kick offs and six seasons against Ohio State.
He’s a weapon and a football player. I understand the logic of avoiding injury, but he has the ability to flip a field. Can’t ignore that.
He could be paired with Hampton, who averaged 23.3 yards on 23 returns in ’08. RB Brandon Wegher averged 23.8 on nine returns last season.
Sandeman will be the punt returner. He finished second in the Big Ten with 9.0 yards on 12 returns. Cotton could be groomed for his replacement.
Schulze will be a four-year starter as long snapper. This will be his third season doing field goals, PATs and punts. Can’t remember any fumbles.
Mike Meyer delivers a PK for Dubuque Wahlert at the state boys soccer tournament.