Freshman running backs
Mika’il McCall probably plays. He’s listed at 6-0, 215 and he’s all of that. He ran through several tackles Saturday, carrying 14 times for 51 yards. He was successful on three goal-line carries.
Simply put, the son of former heavyweight champion boxer Oliver McCall is built for this.
“He’s a really nice guy,” quarterback James Vandenberg said. “He’s worked hard, coming in early and asking me for extra reps. He’s doing the right thing when he’s in there. He’s a very developed high school guy. It’s nice seeing a big guy like that coming in. Just hope he keeps progressing.”
What’s Jordan Canzeri in the Iowa running back straw poll?
The 5-9, 180-pounder showed uncommonly quick feet Saturday, going for 48 yards on just seven carries (albiet, against reserve defenses). Canzeri has some “zero to 60″ gear to him.
Maybe they both play.
“Yeah, most definitely,” Kirk Ferentz said when asked about playing two freshmen running backs. “I hope not three, but I could see two. Never say never.”
Freshman tight ends
Never say never and never say for sure, but true freshman tight end Ray Hamilton seems to be in the plans.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder caught three passes for 34 yards and was physical in blocking, driving one veteran D-end 5 yards off the ball one play.
“All three of those young guys have done a nice job for us coming in,” Vandenberg said, also referring to Jake Duzey and Henry Krieger-Coble. “They’ve been a nice target for Jake [Rudock, true freshman QB] in those three groups. They do a nice job catching the ball. We’ll see.”
Maybe Iowa doesn’t need a true frosh TE this season. It goes Brad Herman, C.J. Fiedorowicz and Zach Derby. Maybe all three redshirt.
He looks like he might’ve done this QB thing a time or two, doesn’t it?
He’s slight at 6-3, 185, but his mechanics are beautiful and he has a quick release. Seemed to see the field well. Ferentz didn’t rule him out as a reserve this year. A No. 2? Probably not, but Drew Tate got that call in 2003, so it’s been done.
No. 3 WR
I don’t think there’s any question it’s Kevonte Martin-Manley. He caught five passes for 54 yards.
Sophomore Don Shumpert didn’t get as many looks. KMM made plays in traffic and got a look at punt return. He seems to be pointed to some PT.
Can there be a rotation? If Carl Davis comes through, maybe. He was yanked by D-line coach Rick Kaczenski at one point Saturday. Don’t rule out Darian Cooper. Seriously. Seemed to fit right in.
So, at tackle, Mike Daniels, Dominic Alvis, Davis, Cooper and maybe Steve Bigach. End, Broderick Binns, Lebron Daniel, maybe Alvis, maybe Bigach, maybe Joe Forgy. A lot of maybes.
For those of you at the scrimmage, you tell me.
The stats were comparable. Trent Mossbrucker is in it. Marshall Koehn is in it. Mike Meyer hasn’t made it his.
Koehn seemed to have the strongest leg. Meyer wasn’t far behind, but Mossbrucker looked as good as he ever has from 40-plus.
I asked Ferentz how do you make the leap with one guy.
“How they practice,” he said. “Last year, all year, it was bad. This camp, all three guys are competing well with each other. I think we’re healthier there.”
Junior Greg Castillo seems to be settling in as a starter. He played well Saturday, with at least one breakup. He did allow a long completion — a Vandenberg-McNutt 45-yarder — but McNutt might’ve been a little handsy.
Sophomore B.J. Lowery had a pick on a tipped pass. Corner feels set. Never say never, but Micah Hyde might stick at free safety.