Iowa football team releases depth chart ahead of spring practices

This is the first official look at how the 2021 Hawkeyes could stack up.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa running back Tyler Goodson carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 26-20.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

The Iowa football team begins spring practices on Tuesday, so the program released its first depth chart of 2021 on Monday to mark the occasion.

The Hawkeyes lost 10 starters (five on offense, four on defense, and one on special teams) from last season’s team, which went 6-2 and finished the year on a six-game winning streak.  Monday’s two-deep release offers the first look at how coach Kirk Ferentz’s team will adjust to those losses.

Iowa’s final day of spring football is set for May 1, and the team’s depth chart is bound to shake up between now and then as players break out and earn their spots, so this is anything but official in terms of how the 2021 team will look. But here’s how the team currently stacks up at the start of spring practices.


  • There aren’t a lot of surprises in Monday’s depth chart release. But Ferentz has provided the first indication at who will start at offensive tackle next season. The Hawkeyes lost four-year starting left tackle Alaric Jackson (NFL Draft) as well as starting right tackle Mark Kallenberger (graduating, leaving early) in the offseason. Jack Plumb started two games last season and seemed likely to step into a full-time starting role this year. Cody Ince is a more surprising pick at right tackle. He played at left guard last season and stands at 6-foot-4. It will be worth watching whether Ince stays on the outside or if he is pushed back to guard.
  • The Hawkeyes also lost both of their starting defensive tackles from last season in Jack Heflin and All-American Daviyon Nixon. First-team All-Big Ten defensive end Chauncey Golston is also on to the NFL. Iowa’s three replacements on the defensive line (defense end Zach VanValkenburg is the only starter remaining on the line from last season) Noah Shannon, Yahya Black, and John Waggoner have one combined start. An addition from the transfer portal could be an option for this position group, just as the team did with Heflin last year.
  • Ivory Kelly-Martin is listed as Iowa’s No. 2 running back behind first-team All-Big Ten performer Tyler Goodson, but the senior is currently out after undergoing knee surgery. Iowa has two other running backs on its roster, but Monday’s depth chart does not indicate who will take snaps behind Goodson with Kelly-Martin out.
  • The Hawkeyes returned all five of their starters in the secondary from last season’s team. Still, Northern Iowa transfer Xavier Williams is expected to fit into the back end for Iowa this season but is not listed on the two-deep. Williams can play either corner or safety.
  • Wide receiver could be a spot where Iowa’s freshmen make an immediate impact next season. The Hawkeyes lost starters Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith to the draft in the offseason. Tyrone Tracy Jr., Nico Ragaini, and Charlie Jones were all frequent contributors in the passing game last year. But after that, any of the team’s 13 other listed wide receivers could factor in, including freshmen Arland Bruce IV and Keagan Johnson.
  • Caleb Shudak finally gets his shot as Iowa’s starting kicker. Ferentz has praised Shudak frequently over the years even though Keith Duncan was the starting place kicker for the past two seasons. The fifth-year senior handled kickoff duties and long field goal attempts last year, but the full-time job appears to be his after Duncan’s departure.
  • After splitting time at middle linebacker last season, Jack Campbell and Seth Benson are both listed as starters to start the spring — not that that’s a surprise. Campbell stays at middle linebacker, while Benson slides to weakside linebacker now that Nick Niemann has graduated. Djimon Colbert, who started at weakside linebacker for two seasons at Iowa before sitting out last year, stepped away from football in the offseason.


WR: Tyrone Tracy Jr. (5-11, 203, Jr.), Max Cooper (6-0, 192, Sr.)

TE: Sam LaPorta (6-4, 249, Jr.), Luke Lachey (6-6, 237, Fr.)

LT: Jack Plumb (6-7, 293, Jr.), Mason Richman (6-6, 289, Fr.)

LG: Kyler Schott (6-2, 293, Sr.), Tyler Elsbury (6-5, 302, Fr.)

C: Tyler Linderbaum (6-3, 289, Jr.), Noah Fenske (6-4, 307, Soph.)

RG: Justin Britt (6-4, 293, Soph.), Josh Volk (6-4, 314, Fr.)

RT: Cody Ince (6-4, 285, Jr.), Nick DeJong (6-6, 296, Soph.)

WR: Nico Ragaini (6-0, 193, Jr.), Charlie Jones (6-0, 187, Sr.)

QB: Spencer Petras (6-5, 231, Jr.), Alex Padilla (6-1, 198, Soph.)

RB: Tyler Goodson (5-11, 200, Jr.), Ivory Kelly-Martin (5-10, 204, Sr.)

FB: Monte Pottebaum (6-1, 244, Jr.), Turner Pallissard (6-0, 248, Jr.)

PK: Caleb Shudak (5-8, 178, Sr.)


LE: John Waggoner (6-5, 271, Jr.), Joe Evans (6-2, 248, Jr.)

LT: Noah Shannon (6-0, 288, Jr.), Logan Jones (6-3, 267, Fr.)

RT: Yahya Black (6-5, 279, Fr.), Logan Lee (6-5, 267, Soph.)

RE: Zach VanValkenburg (6-4, 270, Sr.), Chris Reames (6-7, 255, Soph.)

OLB/Cash: Dane Belton (6-1, 205, Jr.), Logan Klemp (6-2, 232, Jr.)

MLB: Seth Benson (6-0, 231, Jr.), Jay Higgins (6-2, 219, Fr.)

WLB: Jack Campbell (6-5, 243, Jr.), Jestin Jacobs (6-4, 235, Soph.)

LCB: Matt Hankins (6-0, 180, Sr.), Jermari Harris (6-1, 177, Soph.)

SS: Kaevon Merriweather (6-0, 205, Jr.), Reggie Bracy (6-0, 203, Soph.)

FS: Jack Koerner (6-0, 205, Sr.), Quinn Schulte (6-1, 197, Soph.)

RCB: Riley Moss (6-1, 191, Sr.), Terry Roberts (5-10, 177, Jr.)

P: Tory Taylor (6-4, 225, Soph.)

LS: Austin Spiewak (6-1, 239, Sr.)