Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Iowa.
Spring Practice Begins: Saturday, March 24
Spring Game: Saturday, April 14
Returning Starters: Six on offense, five on defense, one specialist
Three Things To Watch For:
1. New coaches in charge. Ever since Kirk Ferentz took over the Iowa program, the coaching staff has been a model of consistency. That ended over the winter as offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe left for a job in the NFL and defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired. Now it will be former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis and Phil Parker running the offense and defense. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes are made in Iowa's philosophy this season. Since Parker was Iowa's defensive backs coach before taking over the defense, odds are that the Hawkeyes will still run the same 4-3 scheme we've seen in Iowa City for years. It's also likely that Davis' offense will run the same pro-style attack Iowa's run since Ferentz took over the program, though there may be some new twists.
2. The emergence of a running back. Be it through transfers or injuries, Iowa hasn't had the best of luck keeping running backs the last few years. Marcus Coker was the show in Iowa's backfield last season, but he's since left for Stony Brook, which leaves a lot of unproven backs competing for a starting job. Jordan Canzeri enters the spring on top of the depth chart after getting the bulk of the carries in the Insight Bowl, but he'll be getting pushed by other backs like Damon Bullock and De'Andre Johnson.
3. The battle on the defensive line. A strong defensive line has been a staple of Iowa football, but this year the Hawkeyes have a lot of people to replace, and a new coach in charge of the unit. Reese Morgan has switched over from coaching the offensive line to the defensive line, and it won't be an easy job as Iowa replaces three starters, including tackle Mike Daniels. What hurts even further is players like Dominic Alvis and Carl Davis are both recovering from knee surgery. Because of that, you have senior
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