FOUR DOWNS WITH THE WRS/TES
DEPTH CHART (No. 1 and then probables)
SE — Marvin McNutt, sr., 6-4, 215; Don Shumpert, true so., 6-3, 187; Steve Staggs, jr., 6-3, 195
WR — Keenan Davis, jr., 6-3, 215; Kevonte Martin-Manley, RS fr., 6-0, 205
TE — Brad Herman, sr., 6-5, 255; C.J. Fiedorowicz, true so., 6-7, 265; Zach Derby, jr., 6-3, 240; Ray Hamilton, true fr., 6-5, 235
McNutt already has an Iowa legacy, and he has one more year left to enhance it. He’s caught 16 touchdown passes, five shy of tying the all-time mark. Some of those receptions rank among the school’s all-time best. In big-game situations few in Iowa history have made plays like McNutt in 2009, from a 92-yard TD against Indiana to a pair of second-half TDs at Ohio State to send the game into overtime. He designed a quick slant on the game’s final play at Michigan State in 2009 and hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass. He caught TDs in six straight games last year and had seven receptions apiece against Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin. He’s “the guy” among the guys.
Under the Radar
Herman was considered for multiple positions when Iowa recruited him for the 2008 season. He settled in at tight end and appeared mostly on special teams his first two seasons. Last year, he was the team’s second tight end and caught nine passes for 154 yards. While Fiedorowicz is the fan favorite this year, Herman has developed into a strong blocker and a sure-handed receiver. Herman didn’t red-shirt in 2008, a move he did for the team, not for his personal gain. He appreciates the playing time now. “It helped me learn and pick up things so much faster because you’re forced to learn, and it’s paid off now,” he said.
True freshman Ray Hamilton at best is listed as Iowa’s fourth-team tight end, but he’s got a shot at playing this year. Hamilton, tabbed the nation’s eighth-best tight end by Rivals, had 119 catches for 1,189 yards and 23 touchdowns in the Cleveland-area high school career. In an open practice Aug. 13, Hamilton looked smooth catching the ball and worked with the team’s second-team offensive unit.
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