1. Mike Meyer, sr., 6-2, 185; 2. Marshall Koehn, so., 6-0, 195; 3. Alden Haffar, jr., 5-9, 209
1. Connor Kornbrath, so., 6-6, 240; 2. Koehn
1. Kornbrath; 2. Koehn
1. Casey Kreiter, sr., 6-3, 250; 2. Tyler Kluver, fr., 6-0, 220
1. Kevonte Martin-Manley, jr., 6-0, 205; 2. Jordan Canzeri, so., 5-9, 192; 3. Riley McCarron, fr., 5-9, 182
1. Jordan Cotton, sr., 6-1, 192; 2. Martin-Manley/Canzeri
Senior Mike Meyer was named to the Lou Groza Award preseason watch list for the third straight season. And with good reason, too. Meyer made all 25 extra-point attempts and was 17-of-21 in field-goal tries last year as a junior. He ranks fifth in career scoring at Iowa with 235 points and has made a school-record 81 consecutive PATs. He had two misses in consecutive weeks as a freshman — one was blocked by current NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt of Wisconsin — but is perfect in his last 30 games. His 45 field goals is tied for fourth in Iowa history and he’s just 10 from second place.
“He’s on the upswing, really enjoying that confidence of being a senior,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said.
Senior Jordan Cotton led the Big Ten kickoff returns with a 28.2 return average, 4.6 yards better than the league’s No. 2. Cotton took a kickoff 92 yards for a score last year against Penn State, and he returned another 82 yards against Michigan State only to get called back because of a penalty. Cotton was an extraordinary special teams player at Mount Pleasant High School, scoring three touchdowns and picking up 925 yards on returns. He was named a preseason all-Big Ten kick returner by Phil Steele. He also is in competition at wide receiver, where he caught 12 passes and one touchdown last year.
“Jordan Cotton was a good story last year, so there’s some good things going on with special teams,” Ferentz said.
New running backs coach Chris White and outside linebackers coach LeVar Woods are the co-coordinators of Iowa’s special teams units. White worked under Mike Priefer Jr. with the Minnesota Vikings and brings a passion for the unit. Woods was a premier special teams during his seven-year career in the NFL.
“The thing I appreciate about Chris is he has a plan, and he knows what he wants to do,” Woods said. “He’s been around a system that he’s been successful with in Minnesota.”
White handles the kickers and punters and both devise the strategy and personnel groupings on each special teams unit. No longer do different assistants handle different units.
“It used to be that way in the past,” Woods said, “but now it’s teamwork all the way through.”
Special teams units always are in flux, but here’s how the units appeared during an open scrimmage last Saturday:
Snapper: Casey Kreiter; Punter: Connor Kornbrath; Linemen: Anthony Hitchens, Christian Kirksey, Quinton Alston, Travis Perry (also Jake Duzey, Macon Plewa); Wingbacks: Tanner Miller, John Lowdermilk; Gunners: B.J. Lowery, Jordan Cotton; Upback: James Morris
FIELD GOAL/EXTRA POINT
Snapper: Kreiter; Linemen/ends/wingbacks: Jake Duzey, Ray Hamilton; Jordan Walsh, Nolan MacMillan, Brandon Scherff, Andrew Donnal, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Henry Krieger Coble; Holder: Kornbrath; Kicker: Mike Meyer
FIRST — (left to right) Gavin Smith, Jordan Lomax, Jacob Hillyer, Cole Fisher, Christian Kirksey, John Lowdermilk, Quinton Alston, Nico Law, Tanner Miller, Sean Draper; Kicker: Mike Meyer
SECOND — (left to right) B.J. Lowery, Don Shumpert, George Kittle, Adam Cox, Anthony Hitchens, Ruben Lile, Marcus Collins, John Kenny, Greg Mabin, Malik Rucker; Kicker: Marshall Koehn
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