Defense 2023 questions


HR Legend
Mar 26, 2007
Yes ... but I don't think that they'll take the extra year. I doubt an extra year helps their draft stock. Local media types have speculated that maybe NIL money could keep a guy (or two) around for their 6th year - however, I doubt it.
For those guys I think it would depend alot on their NFL prospects.


HR All-American
Gold Member
Oct 24, 2007
I posted this on the Paid board.

DE - Craig, Van Ness, Allen, Reames, Hurkett, etc. It will be interesting to see how the DE spot shakes out. Iowa has some very talented guys but only a couple look like pure pass rushing DEs. It starts with Craig. He is a tested veteran and with the graduation of Waggoner, he will be one of the guys that will need to step up in terms of play and leadership. The scholarship chart lists Van Ness as a DT but I think he can slide out to play the other DE spot. Like so many other guys on the DL, these guys are able to play different positions which is great. The dark horse for me is Allen. He came in as quite the athlete but clearly was going to benefit from a Redshirt year to fill out a bit more. I really think he can fill the void we lose from Evans' graduation as the primary pass rusher. I'm very excited to see what he can do. We have some of these other guys. Hurkett, played against Nebraska but I am curious if the staff wouldn't look at another proven guy out of the portal considering how many guys we rotate on the DL.

DT - Lee, Black, Graves, etc. The DL all starts with Lee the guy is an old school style Hawkeye DT and he plays the position the way Phil Parker needs him to. His style is frankly not the sexiest and he doesn't get as much credit as he deserves but he is the anchor upfront for next season. The interesting battle for "starting position" will be Black and Graves. Graves is more of a hybrid as he can play both DE and DT so his snaps per position might depend on how things shake out at DE. One way or another, the fact that Graves saw time as a true freshman should speak volumes. Black seems to be the flashier DT between him and Lee. He gets into the backfield more as a pass rusher while Lee is really a true run stuffer.

LB - Jacobs, Higgins, Fisher, Sullivan. (Hausman, Damuni?) Jacobs is obviously the headliner here. Truthfully, had he not had such an injury plagued season, he might not be on this list as he could be NFL bound. The guy takes the LB position to a new level of athleticism we haven't seen since probably Greenway. That is saying a lot considering some of the other LBs that have come through since. Unfortunately, that is where much of the clear knowledge from a fans perspective ends. We saw Higgins play some this year but didn't seem to jump out. I am not sure how much Fisher played this season which again speak some unto itself. Finally, Justice Sullivan was a 4* coming in so we will see if he can take the next step forward in bowl prep and the off season to become one of the next greats. This position unfortunately is in the position we have seen over the years following great success; the experienced reliable guys move on a leave a void of inexperience in their wake. This is position group is where I could really see us bringing in a transfer or two. There are several players who have experience already in the portal. Might be a pipe dream but I noticed Ernest Hausman (former 4*) from Nebraska is in the portal. He made an impression on me in the game against us and looks VERY athletic so he would be an interesting prospect. Another interesting guy could be Levani Damuni who is in the portal from Stanford. He is a very experienced guy who has significant playing time since 2020. Could be a nice one year player to bridge the gap for the younger guys.

CB - DeJean, Harris, Hall, Castro. DeJean is a returning all B1G CB; could be a preseason All American. I'm saying it now, Iowa's version of Charles Woodson. Harris returns for his senior year. The hard part to comprehend is that he really doesn't have that much experience because of injury. Will he be up for the demands of starting at corner? Moving along to Hall - he struggled mightily against Nebraska albeit against a first team (former 5*) WR as a true freshman. It is hard for me to be too hard on him for one game largely due to him being thrown into that role as a true freshman in-game after DeJean got hurt. We all remember Moss' struggles vs. Purdue a few years ago and he got much better. I hope that Hall takes that experience to heart and drives him to work even harder to improve his game as a CB. I actually could see this kid overtaking Harris for the starting CB spot. Then we have the CASH spot which likely will start with Castro. He has some experience now playing there after DeJean moved outside. From my perspective, CASH is a perfect spot for Castro - he frankly is not the greatest in coverage and that position allows him to thrive in his physicality near the LOS.

Nwankpa, Schulte, Bracy, Entringer. Schulte returns at FS for his senior year. Splitting hairs on an outstanding defense, Schulte needs to improve either is communication skills or his over the top coverage skills. The few explosive plays Iowa gave up this year seemed to involve Schulte in some way shape or form either because he blew the over the top coverage, or he failed to communicate the proper coverage to the CBs. Again, this is splitting hairs as those plays were rare but can be improved upon. I think Nwankpa steps into the starting SS spot. We will finally see the X FACTOR. I honestly can't believe we didn't see him more this year considering the level of athleticism he brings but I'm sure a year and a half under his belt will pay dividends next season. Bracy was in the two deeps this year but I believe Nwankpa passes him; still should be a quality back up. Finally, will Entringer step up and break into the two deeps? This kid looked like an intriguing prospect coming out of high school and the coaches really put on the press to get him. I believe a redshirt year will really benefit him and he will be in the two deeps either at safety or CASH.

After I posted this, some have suggested that Benson, Evans and Roberts may be returning for another year so potentially add those.


Team MVP
Nov 5, 2005
Iowa's D-line will be better ( I felt slightly weak IMO). I think Campbell made a massive difference. I think Iowa takes a little step back on D.