With OL Iowa is set up for a potential 2yr run

Auger

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As Iowa fans we know or should know always to temper our expectations going into a season. We typically always have the pieces that lead us to believe we can compete within the B1G and especially within the B1G West. However these past 5 seasons Iowa has sat back and watched Wisconsin and Northwestern trade the title of West Champs. Many with knowledge inside Iowa Football right now think Iowa has the pieces to go on at least a 2yr run in the B1G West. One big reason why is because of what they're seeing on the OL.

A cousin of mine who is a former all time OL great under KF and who is still close to the Ferentz family recently told me to expect big things from the OL this year. It starts with the interior of the OL he told me. The interior of the OL has the pieces to be the most balanced, deep and talented of the KF era. Linderbaum is the best C in college football and likely best of the KF era. Comments made from coaches are that he has improved in all area's but the most important is his football IQ is at a level of former Iowa C great Nelson. Also Ince is drawing a lot of comparisons to Yanda. An immensely talented interior lineman that can also be an above average OT if needed. You have to go back to Steinbach as the last mega talent interior OL at Iowa that was able to play an entire season at OG. The hope is that Ince will be able to settle in at LG all season. Schott is expected to be at RG. Coaches are seeing a much more balanced level of play from him. His highs see him dominating games. His lows see him struggling throughout a game with consistency. If he is healthy expect mostly his high level of play. He is focused and KF has singled him out as a major highlight this offseason. Linderbaum, Ince, and Schott form the most talented interior OL group of the KF era. If those three can stay healthy as well as stay at their positions all year expect a big year from Iowa. There is also quality depth here too with Britt and Elsbury who are both deemed starter quality.

That moves us to OT. OT is where the major questions come in. Plumb is a guy who looks great in practice but he doesn't always translate that play to games where things move a lot faster. KF noted he knows what games look like now and he has taken that experience with him into this preseason and you can already tell the difference. I have heard the exact same thing from 3 sources about Connor Colby, Mason Richman, and Nick DeJong. All three have told me that KF who is usually pretty reserved can't seem to hold in his excitement about those three players. I remember hearing that same thing last season about Richman, DeJong and Elsbury. I guess Connor Colby came in and blew the socks off everyone. The dude is legit and KF even made the comment that Colby is going to be a really good one. One source told me Colby will see action at both OT and OG this year and he is probably in the top 8 of the Iowa OL right now and one of 3 (Britt, Richman, and Colby) that will be major rotation pieces on the OL. The buzz is that these SO's and FR are the most talented group of underclassmen anyone has seen at Iowa during the KF era. A group you can build a juggernaut at OL from. I was told to expect a battle between Plumb and Richman this season. Whichever one is more consistent will likely be the LT. If neither is ready in games the safe bet will be to slide Ince out there. If Ince is out there the OL's upside greatly reduces.

This years Iowa team should be very talented on O. The DL has some major ??'s and still does at this point. Nobody I talked with sugarcoated that the DL still has major ??'s. However the LB's and DB's look top notch. Petras just needs to be solid and this offense should be able to put 20+ on anyone in conference. The LB's and DB's are good enough to hold teams under 20. Every team in the West has major ??'s at one or more area's. Iowa can pull the West out this year. 2022-'23 with the young talent on OL and at WR could be loaded on O if Goodson comes back. The D will return some big talent at LB and DB and has some young talent at DL and DB that could break through this year. I can see why many think these next two years Iowa claims the West throne.
 

SuperSK

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As Iowa fans we know or should know always to temper our expectations going into a season. We typically always have the pieces that lead us to believe we can compete within the B1G and especially within the B1G West. However these past 5 seasons Iowa has sat back and watched Wisconsin and Northwestern trade the title of West Champs. Many with knowledge inside Iowa Football right now think Iowa has the pieces to go on at least a 2yr run in the B1G West. One big reason why is because of what they're seeing on the OL.

A cousin of mine who is a former all time OL great under KF and who is still close to the Ferentz family recently told me to expect big things from the OL this year. It starts with the interior of the OL he told me. The interior of the OL has the pieces to be the most balanced, deep and talented of the KF era. Linderbaum is the best C in college football and likely best of the KF era. Comments made from coaches are that he has improved in all area's but the most important is his football IQ is at a level of former Iowa C great Nelson. Also Ince is drawing a lot of comparisons to Yanda. An immensely talented interior lineman that can also be an above average OT if needed. You have to go back to Steinbach as the last mega talent interior OL at Iowa that was able to play an entire season at OG. The hope is that Ince will be able to settle in at LG all season. Schott is expected to be at RG. Coaches are seeing a much more balanced level of play from him. His highs see him dominating games. His lows see him struggling throughout a game with consistency. If he is healthy expect mostly his high level of play. He is focused and KF has singled him out as a major highlight this offseason. Linderbaum, Ince, and Schott form the most talented interior OL group of the KF era. If those three can stay healthy as well as stay at their positions all year expect a big year from Iowa. There is also quality depth here too with Britt and Elsbury who are both deemed starter quality.

That moves us to OT. OT is where the major questions come in. Plumb is a guy who looks great in practice but he doesn't always translate that play to games where things move a lot faster. KF noted he knows what games look like now and he has taken that experience with him into this preseason and you can already tell the difference. I have heard the exact same thing from 3 sources about Connor Colby, Mason Richman, and Nick DeJong. All three have told me that KF who is usually pretty reserved can't seem to hold in his excitement about those three players. I remember hearing that same thing last season about Richman, DeJong and Elsbury. I guess Connor Colby came in and blew the socks off everyone. The dude is legit and KF even made the comment that Colby is going to be a really good one. One source told me Colby will see action at both OT and OG this year and he is probably in the top 8 of the Iowa OL right now and one of 3 (Britt, Richman, and Colby) that will be major rotation pieces on the OL. The buzz is that these SO's and FR are the most talented group of underclassmen anyone has seen at Iowa during the KF era. A group you can build a juggernaut at OL from. I was told to expect a battle between Plumb and Richman this season. Whichever one is more consistent will likely be the LT. If neither is ready in games the safe bet will be to slide Ince out there. If Ince is out there the OL's upside greatly reduces.

This years Iowa team should be very talented on O. The DL has some major ??'s and still does at this point. Nobody I talked with sugarcoated that the DL still has major ??'s. However the LB's and DB's look top notch. Petras just needs to be solid and this offense should be able to put 20+ on anyone in conference. The LB's and DB's are good enough to hold teams under 20. Every team in the West has major ??'s at one or more area's. Iowa can pull the West out this year. 2022-'23 with the young talent on OL and at WR could be loaded on O if Goodson comes back. The D will return some big talent at LB and DB and has some young talent at DL and DB that could break through this year. I can see why many think these next two years Iowa claims the West throne.
Thank you for this great post. Lots of good info for all of us. In my mind, if your OL is really good, you have a chip, chair and chance of having exceptional seasons. Thanks again ! 😎❤️🏈
 

biggreydogs

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QB1. If he connects, we can out score the opponents as they should never get the ball enough to win.
 

Birky

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This makes me feel better, and worse. After listening to Phil Parker, I was pretty excited about the DL being better than I’d hoped.
 
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michael.nelson311

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Britt can't stay healthy...so no he won't be. Linderbaum will get the TJ. Hock treatment and they will pretty much make him go. So no we won't be..but I never worry about defense with PP and Oline with kf
 

BBHawk

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Britt can't stay healthy...so no he won't be. Linderbaum will get the TJ. Hock treatment and they will pretty much make him go. So no we won't be..but I never worry about defense with PP and Oline with kf
As far as I know, Britt has been healthy at Iowa. He was recovering from knee surgery when he got here. His first non-redshirt year was last year so while he is technically a redshirt sophomore, he has 4 years left with the pandemic exception. And he is going to be a good one.
 
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khawk94

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Pretty sure Britt has been at RG in the early photos. Haven’t seen Schott. Any word if he’s injured right now?
 

Birky

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As far as I know, Britt has been healthy at Iowa. He was recovering from knee surgery when he got here. His first non-redshirt year was last year so while he is technically a redshirt sophomore, he has 4 years left with the pandemic exception. And he is going to be a good one.
Britt did have an injury that caused him to not play in more than 4 games his first year at Iowa. He was on track to burn that redshirt.

That said, you’re correct, he has been healthy recently, and there is no reason to write him off due to injury. I expect he’ll have a stellar career at Iowa, and beyond.
 

Auger

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This makes me feel better, and worse. After listening to Phil Parker, I was pretty excited about the DL being better than I’d hoped.
What I've heard about the DL is they're struggling with consistency and things are moving along slow. Still a lot of time between now and Indiana though. The new guys don't have a ton of game experience. Need guys to step up that can be consistent vs both the run and pass. I keep hearing getting guys up to game speed a lot as well. When I hear that I think of Iowa being a slow starter in past seasons and maybe the new guys not being ready for game speed. There is a ton of talent on this DL they're just young. Iowa has had three years in a row of guys leaving early from this unit. It's forcing a lot of young and inexperienced guys into the mix. Iowa is lucky to still have VanValkenburg. Word is he is a force both physically and leadership wise this year.
 

dbrocket

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As Iowa fans we know or should know always to temper our expectations going into a season. We typically always have the pieces that lead us to believe we can compete within the B1G and especially within the B1G West. However these past 5 seasons Iowa has sat back and watched Wisconsin and Northwestern trade the title of West Champs. Many with knowledge inside Iowa Football right now think Iowa has the pieces to go on at least a 2yr run in the B1G West. One big reason why is because of what they're seeing on the OL.

A cousin of mine who is a former all time OL great under KF and who is still close to the Ferentz family recently told me to expect big things from the OL this year. It starts with the interior of the OL he told me. The interior of the OL has the pieces to be the most balanced, deep and talented of the KF era. Linderbaum is the best C in college football and likely best of the KF era. Comments made from coaches are that he has improved in all area's but the most important is his football IQ is at a level of former Iowa C great Nelson. Also Ince is drawing a lot of comparisons to Yanda. An immensely talented interior lineman that can also be an above average OT if needed. You have to go back to Steinbach as the last mega talent interior OL at Iowa that was able to play an entire season at OG. The hope is that Ince will be able to settle in at LG all season. Schott is expected to be at RG. Coaches are seeing a much more balanced level of play from him. His highs see him dominating games. His lows see him struggling throughout a game with consistency. If he is healthy expect mostly his high level of play. He is focused and KF has singled him out as a major highlight this offseason. Linderbaum, Ince, and Schott form the most talented interior OL group of the KF era. If those three can stay healthy as well as stay at their positions all year expect a big year from Iowa. There is also quality depth here too with Britt and Elsbury who are both deemed starter quality.

That moves us to OT. OT is where the major questions come in. Plumb is a guy who looks great in practice but he doesn't always translate that play to games where things move a lot faster. KF noted he knows what games look like now and he has taken that experience with him into this preseason and you can already tell the difference. I have heard the exact same thing from 3 sources about Connor Colby, Mason Richman, and Nick DeJong. All three have told me that KF who is usually pretty reserved can't seem to hold in his excitement about those three players. I remember hearing that same thing last season about Richman, DeJong and Elsbury. I guess Connor Colby came in and blew the socks off everyone. The dude is legit and KF even made the comment that Colby is going to be a really good one. One source told me Colby will see action at both OT and OG this year and he is probably in the top 8 of the Iowa OL right now and one of 3 (Britt, Richman, and Colby) that will be major rotation pieces on the OL. The buzz is that these SO's and FR are the most talented group of underclassmen anyone has seen at Iowa during the KF era. A group you can build a juggernaut at OL from. I was told to expect a battle between Plumb and Richman this season. Whichever one is more consistent will likely be the LT. If neither is ready in games the safe bet will be to slide Ince out there. If Ince is out there the OL's upside greatly reduces.

This years Iowa team should be very talented on O. The DL has some major ??'s and still does at this point. Nobody I talked with sugarcoated that the DL still has major ??'s. However the LB's and DB's look top notch. Petras just needs to be solid and this offense should be able to put 20+ on anyone in conference. The LB's and DB's are good enough to hold teams under 20. Every team in the West has major ??'s at one or more area's. Iowa can pull the West out this year. 2022-'23 with the young talent on OL and at WR could be loaded on O if Goodson comes back. The D will return some big talent at LB and DB and has some young talent at DL and DB that could break through this year. I can see why many think these next two years Iowa claims the West throne.
It's interesting that Davidkov hasn't been mentioned much. He was the guy that came in with big (outside) expectations. I wonder if he's not living up to them, or if the others are just so good he doesn't stand out in comparison.
 

nu2u

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What I've heard about the DL is they're struggling with consistency and things are moving along slow. Still a lot of time between now and Indiana though. The new guys don't have a ton of game experience. Need guys to step up that can be consistent vs both the run and pass. I keep hearing getting guys up to game speed a lot as well. When I hear that I think of Iowa being a slow starter in past seasons and maybe the new guys not being ready for game speed. There is a ton of talent on this DL they're just young. Iowa has had three years in a row of guys leaving early from this unit. It's forcing a lot of young and inexperienced guys into the mix. Iowa is lucky to still have VanValkenburg. Word is he is a force both physically and leadership wise this year.
Between DEs VanValkenburg and Evans, the DL should be OK on the outside. It will be interesting to see if Deonte Craig emerges at DE this Fall.

It would have been really helpful if Heflin had decided to return to anchor the middle. The biggest question marks have to be at DT and depth behind all DL starters. although Waggoner is 3 years in and has game experience. I agree there is plenty of talent to develop.

A solid LB unit will help. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Benson at MLB leads the team in tackles by a considerable margin.
 
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RomanHawk

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As Iowa fans we know or should know always to temper our expectations going into a season. We typically always have the pieces that lead us to believe we can compete within the B1G and especially within the B1G West. However these past 5 seasons Iowa has sat back and watched Wisconsin and Northwestern trade the title of West Champs. Many with knowledge inside Iowa Football right now think Iowa has the pieces to go on at least a 2yr run in the B1G West. One big reason why is because of what they're seeing on the OL.

A cousin of mine who is a former all time OL great under KF and who is still close to the Ferentz family recently told me to expect big things from the OL this year. It starts with the interior of the OL he told me. The interior of the OL has the pieces to be the most balanced, deep and talented of the KF era. Linderbaum is the best C in college football and likely best of the KF era. Comments made from coaches are that he has improved in all area's but the most important is his football IQ is at a level of former Iowa C great Nelson. Also Ince is drawing a lot of comparisons to Yanda. An immensely talented interior lineman that can also be an above average OT if needed. You have to go back to Steinbach as the last mega talent interior OL at Iowa that was able to play an entire season at OG. The hope is that Ince will be able to settle in at LG all season. Schott is expected to be at RG. Coaches are seeing a much more balanced level of play from him. His highs see him dominating games. His lows see him struggling throughout a game with consistency. If he is healthy expect mostly his high level of play. He is focused and KF has singled him out as a major highlight this offseason. Linderbaum, Ince, and Schott form the most talented interior OL group of the KF era. If those three can stay healthy as well as stay at their positions all year expect a big year from Iowa. There is also quality depth here too with Britt and Elsbury who are both deemed starter quality.

That moves us to OT. OT is where the major questions come in. Plumb is a guy who looks great in practice but he doesn't always translate that play to games where things move a lot faster. KF noted he knows what games look like now and he has taken that experience with him into this preseason and you can already tell the difference. I have heard the exact same thing from 3 sources about Connor Colby, Mason Richman, and Nick DeJong. All three have told me that KF who is usually pretty reserved can't seem to hold in his excitement about those three players. I remember hearing that same thing last season about Richman, DeJong and Elsbury. I guess Connor Colby came in and blew the socks off everyone. The dude is legit and KF even made the comment that Colby is going to be a really good one. One source told me Colby will see action at both OT and OG this year and he is probably in the top 8 of the Iowa OL right now and one of 3 (Britt, Richman, and Colby) that will be major rotation pieces on the OL. The buzz is that these SO's and FR are the most talented group of underclassmen anyone has seen at Iowa during the KF era. A group you can build a juggernaut at OL from. I was told to expect a battle between Plumb and Richman this season. Whichever one is more consistent will likely be the LT. If neither is ready in games the safe bet will be to slide Ince out there. If Ince is out there the OL's upside greatly reduces.

This years Iowa team should be very talented on O. The DL has some major ??'s and still does at this point. Nobody I talked with sugarcoated that the DL still has major ??'s. However the LB's and DB's look top notch. Petras just needs to be solid and this offense should be able to put 20+ on anyone in conference. The LB's and DB's are good enough to hold teams under 20. Every team in the West has major ??'s at one or more area's. Iowa can pull the West out this year. 2022-'23 with the young talent on OL and at WR could be loaded on O if Goodson comes back. The D will return some big talent at LB and DB and has some young talent at DL and DB that could break through this year. I can see why many think these next two years Iowa claims the West throne.
Thanks much for the information. With the OL youth, maybe the run will be more than 2 years.
 

millhawk

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Between DEs VanValkenburg and Evans, the DL should be OK on the outside. It will be interesting to see if Deonte Craig emerges at DE this Fall.

It would have been really helpful if Heflin had decided to return to anchor the middle. The biggest question marks have to be at DT and depth behind all DL starters. although Waggoner is 3 years in and has game experience. I agree there is plenty of talent to develop.

A solid LB unit will help. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Benson at MLB leads the team in tackles by a considerable margin.

This is Waggoner's year to step up big time. Expect a good year from him. I'm more worried about run pluggers at dt.

I believe Davidkov has or had a lingering injury from high school. He might have had surgery but not sure about that, maybe someone can clear that up.

DeJong must be pretty good or Ince would be at tackle.

Remember Wisconsin offered Plumb. Iowa loved his potential out of high school. I think he'll get better and better with each passing game.

Thanks to the op for a great post.
 

DodgerHawki

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Certainly takes away any excuses. If he can't perform with these guys in front of him...well...
Iowa has been very good in pass blocking (or at least good) in the last 3 years. 9 sacks allowed in 8 games last year, 23 allowed in 13 games in 2019 and 16 allowed in 2018 in 13 games. Those are winning numbers, especially with QB's who can't really run.

They should be good at protecting the passer again this year.
 

BigDelHawk

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This makes me feel better, and worse. After listening to Phil Parker, I was pretty excited about the DL being better than I’d hoped.
DL practices against the OL. A great OL makes the DL look stupid in drills, so you raise your level of play if you have any pride. That is just how it works.
 
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nu2u

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This is Waggoner's year to step up big time. Expect a good year from him. I'm more worried about run pluggers at dt.

I believe Davidkov has or had a lingering injury from high school. He might have had surgery but not sure about that, maybe someone can clear that up.

DeJong must be pretty good or Ince would be at tackle.

Remember Wisconsin offered Plumb. Iowa loved his potential out of high school. I think he'll get better and better with each passing game.

Thanks to the op for a great post.
Completely agree with your expectations of Waggoner this year. It really is too bad that Logan Jones and Logan Lee have struggled with injuries but from what the coaches and fans are saying about Yaya Black, I wonder if Black would have moved ahead of those two anyway.

The OPs comments about the OL talent and depth confirms my thoughts and even though I was disappointed to see Ezra Miller and Noah Fenske leave, the roster still looked strong. OTOH, I was more concerned with Kallenberger's retirement because he was a battle tested vet. DeJong looks like he could be the next under-recruited OL Iowa success story.
 

TKingpin

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A mediocre DL, usually results in a .500 ball club, even with a great offense.

I truly do not understand why they didn’t bring in a JUCO DT or someone from the portal.

We may have to pull off a Marino era Dolphins strategy of beating teams 45-42, just to get to a bowl game.

I think we have to temper down our expectations of those first 2 games. I suspect another 0-2 start this year. DAMN!
 
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nu2u

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A mediocre DL, usually results in a .500 ball club, even with a great offense.
Its way way too early to say that Iowa's DL will be mediocre although there will be some growing pains as the personnel combinations are worked out.

Also, the starting LB unit of Campbell, Jacobs, and Benson has the potential to be very good IMO. The Hawkeye defense has tended to excel in years when a veteran LB group returns. To me, the Campbell-Benson duo has Hodge-Greenway playmaking potential. Those guys are run stoppers.
 

Auger

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It's interesting that Davidkov hasn't been mentioned much. He was the guy that came in with big (outside) expectations. I wonder if he's not living up to them, or if the others are just so good he doesn't stand out in comparison.
I think its the latter. Usually true freshmen don't get a lot of praise its just Colby has really opened some eyes. Usually the new guys need a year to condition their bodies for college and learn the playbooks before things start to click. I did hear the comment Colby was a head of schedule physically then most at his age. He has also picked up the playbook easily. The comment about these FR and SO's being the most talented group in the KF era I'm guessing includes Davidkov.
 

Auger

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Between DEs VanValkenburg and Evans, the DL should be OK on the outside. It will be interesting to see if Deonte Craig emerges at DE this Fall.

It would have been really helpful if Heflin had decided to return to anchor the middle. The biggest question marks have to be at DT and depth behind all DL starters. although Waggoner is 3 years in and has game experience. I agree there is plenty of talent to develop.

A solid LB unit will help. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Benson at MLB leads the team in tackles by a considerable margin.
The way it sounds is VanValkenburg is the only reliable every down guy on the DL. Evans isn't the surest bet against the run. With the DT guys and depth it's about giving them enough reps to get them up to speed. Black projects well as an every down player. I think there is enough time to get these guys up to speed before Indiana. I doubt the coaches know who the starting 4 will be over the next few weeks. They're working a lot of guys in right now.
 

Logon

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Colby also enrolled early, which gives him a head start over the rest of the freshman offensive line recruits.
 
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iahawkeyes17

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DL practices against the OL. A great OL makes the DL look stupid in drills, so you raise your level of play if you have any pride. That is just how it works.

Good point. Remember in the lead up to 15' season and the open scrimmage how Ott, Jaleel and the rest of the DL made the OL look pathetic especially the tackles and everyone was super worried about if our OL could hold up and protect Beathard.
 

TKingpin

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Nu2u - I am specifically remembering how we thought Greenway &Hodge would cover up any DL deficiencies when the were returning Seniors and both were All B1G (IIRC).

The DL had some future stars in King and Kroul, but they were undersized and inexperienced freshmen, and the Defense really did suffer overall that year. IIRC, Iwebema & Mattison joined them up front that year.

I hope you are right and Campbell, Benson and the rest of the back 7 are so good, they cover up any issues up-front … but I am skeptical.
 

Birky

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DL practices against the OL. A great OL makes the DL look stupid in drills, so you raise your level of play if you have any pride. That is just how it works.
No, Iowa’s DL practices against Keith Duncan, and Tom Nichol.
 

dbrocket

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The way it sounds is VanValkenburg is the only reliable every down guy on the DL. Evans isn't the surest bet against the run. With the DT guys and depth it's about giving them enough reps to get them up to speed. Black projects well as an every down player. I think there is enough time to get these guys up to speed before Indiana. I doubt the coaches know who the starting 4 will be over the next few weeks. They're working a lot of guys in right now.
If the interior OL is as good as you were told, that alone should help the DL come along faster.
 

nu2u

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Nu2u - I am specifically remembering how we thought Greenway &Hodge would cover up any DL deficiencies when the were returning Seniors and both were All B1G (IIRC).

The DL had some future stars in King and Kroul, but they were undersized and inexperienced freshmen, and the Defense really did suffer overall that year. IIRC, Iwebema & Mattison joined them up front that year.

I hope you are right and Campbell, Benson and the rest of the back 7 are so good, they cover up any issues up-front … but I am skeptical.
Your concerns are certainly legit. Based on comments from Spring practice, the deficiencies on the DL appear to be experience related. With all the young talent, I trust that Coach Bell will put 4 quality DL out there and coach them up to at least mid-level B10.

I remember similar DL concerns when Iowa lost 3 multi-year starters after the 2019 season (Lattimore, Reiff, and Epeneza). That was a shitload of experience to replace. 3 new starters and the 2020 DL was fantastic. I'm not sure there is another Nixon on the roster but Jon Waggoner is a player who is ripe for a breakthrough season. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

DodgerHawki

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A mediocre DL, usually results in a .500 ball club, even with a great offense.

I truly do not understand why they didn’t bring in a JUCO DT or someone from the portal.

We may have to pull off a Marino era Dolphins strategy of beating teams 45-42, just to get to a bowl game.

I think we have to temper down our expectations of those first 2 games. I suspect another 0-2 start this year. DAMN!
They tried to bring in a transfer DL. But the other guy has to want to come to Iowa too. They aren't going to just bring in bodies, the guys Iowa was in on had interest from other P5 schools. They chose the other schools.

I don't get the hand-wringing about Indiana and Iowa State. Yes, both teams are good. Iowa is also good. Indiana and Iowa played the following teams in common last year.

Penn State - IU wins in OT 38-36, Iowa wins 40-21. The media couldn't contain their excitement about Indiana beating what turned out to be a not very good Penn State.
Michigan State - Iowa wins 49-7, IU wins 24-0. I know which win is more impressive.
Wisconsin - IU wins 14-6, Iowa wins 28-7. Yes, Pennix was out against Wisconsin. But Iowa dominated the Badgers.

Indiana beat "ranked" Penn State and Michigan teams. Penn State started the season ranked 8 and ended up 4-5. Michigan ended up 2-4. Those wins, and then making it close against Ohio State after falling behind 35-7, are the highlights of their 2020. Which they then ended by losing to a 4-5 Ole Miss team in a bowl. Yes, Pennix will be back and Indiana is a good, well-coached team. But this is not Ohio State or Penn State Iowa is playing. Yes, Iowa could lose. If they play well, Hawks have a great chance to win.

Iowa State is also good. But unless Iowa just makes a rash of mistakes the game will be close. God's gift to coaching Matt Campbell is 0-4 against KF. His team has led in 2 of those losses by 10 (2017) and by 8 (2019) in the 4th quarter before losing. If KF did that twice in 4 years, people would say he can't coach. Iowa has good players at a number of positions that will cause Iowa State trouble. Iowa State also has good players at many spots that will cause Iowa trouble. My guess is ISU tried to win the game by giving it to Hall as many times as possible. And it very well could work.

I don't expect 0-2 to start the year. It could happen. More likely is 1-1, but I would put greater odds on Iowa going 2-0 than 0-2. But that's why they play the games.
 

Greenway4Prez

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Your concerns are certainly legit. Based on comments from Spring practice, the deficiencies on the DL appear to be experience related. With all the young talent, I trust that Coach Bell will put 4 quality DL out there and coach them up to at least mid-level B10.

I remember similar DL concerns when Iowa lost 3 multi-year starters after the 2019 season (Lattimore, Reiff, and Epeneza). That was a shitload of experience to replace. 3 new starters and the 2020 DL was fantastic. I'm not sure there is another Nixon on the roster but Jon Waggoner is a player who is ripe for a breakthrough season. Keeping my fingers crossed.
The difference between 2020’s returning DL and 2021 is that we had pretty known commodities coming back/transferring in with Nixon and Heflin.

Shannon didn’t flash last year like Nixon did in 2019. And the other DT is a huge question mark. I’m not letting myself get excited, because even with a salty back 7, we can be had if the interior of the DL doesn’t hold their ground.
 

SLarew

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Colby also enrolled early, which gives him a head start over the rest of the freshman offensive line recruits.
Davidkof enrolled early too but was injured most of Spring. Think he may be limited still but hopefully he recovers well and becomes a factor
 
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