Iowa football program releases preseason depth chart

The Hawkeyes open their season on Sept. 4 against Indiana at Kinnick Stadium.

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Katie Goodale for The Daily Iowa

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) throws a pass during Iowa football spring practice on Saturday, April 17, 2021 in Kinnick Stadium.

Robert Read, Summer Editor


INDIANAPOLIS — As the first day of the 2021 Big Ten Media Days kicked off, the Iowa football program released its preseason depth chart.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz and center Tyler Linderbaum, wide receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr., and defensive end Zach VanValkenburg will speak at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday during the final day of media days.

Iowa’s season opener is scheduled for Sept. 4 against Indiana. Here is the team’s preseason depth chart:


Offense:

Quarterback After starting all eight games at quarterback and being listed as the starter again in the spring, Spencer Petras is still at the top spot on the depth chart. Redshirt sophomore Alex Padilla is listed as the backup on the two-deep.

Running back — Not that it is a surprise, but Tyler Goodson is back as Iowa’s starting running back. He was a first-team All-Big Ten player last season. Senior Ivory Kelly-Martin is listed as the No. 2 running back. Kelly-Martin did not participate in spring practices because of an injury.

Monte Pottebaum is listed as the starting fullback for the second season in a row.

Wide receiver The Hawkeyes have some production to replace after losing wide receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith.

Tracy Jr. and Nico Ragaini are listed as the starters on the depth chart heading into 2021. Senior Charlie Jones, who last year in his first year with the Hawkeyes played some receiver and returned punts, is listed with the second unit. Freshman Keagan Johnson is also listed with the second unit.

Tight end Sam LaPorta is entering his third year with the program and his second year as the team’s starting tight end. Redshirt freshman Luke Lachey is listed as the No. 2 tight end.

Offensive line Iowa’s offensive line is replacing both of its starting offensive tackles from last year, but returns potentially the best center in the country. Here is the first-team offensive line, listed from left to right: Jack Plumb, Cody Ince, Linderbaum, Kyler Schott, Nick DeJong.

The second unit: Mason Richman, Tyler Elsbury, Matt Fagan, Justin Britt, Connor Colby.


Defense:

Defensive line The Hawkeyes are replacing Daviyon Nixon (consensus All-American), Chauncey Golston (first-team All-Big Ten), and Jack Heflin (2020 starter) on its defensive line in 2021. VanValkenburg, a second-team All-Big Ten selection last year, is the only returning starter on the line. He is listed as the starting right end on the preseason depth chart.

Opposite VanValkenburg on the defensive line is John Waggoner at left end. The starting defensive tackles are currently Noah Shannon (LT) and Yahya Black (RT).

The second-team defensive line, from left to right:

Joe Evans, Lukas Van Ness, Logan Lee, and Deontae Craig.

Linebacker Seth Benson started the final seven games of last season at middle linebacker for the Hawkeyes. He’s slated to start there again next season. Jack Campbell split time at the “mike” last season, but with Nick Niemann’s departure is now the starting weakside linebacker. Dane Belton is the starting “Cash/Leo.”

Secondary Matt Hankins is entering his fifth season as a starting cornerback for Iowa. Starting at the other corner is senior Riley Moss. Kaevon Merriweather (SS) and Jack Koerner (FS) are the starters at safety. Iowa is returning all of its starting secondary from last season.

Jermari Harris and Terry Roberts are listed as the second-team cornerbacks, while Sebastian Castro and Quinn Schulte are the No. 2 safeties.


Special teams:

Caleb Shudak, coming back for his sixth season with the Hawkeyes, is slated to be Iowa’s starting kicker now that Keith Duncan has moved on from the program. Tory Taylor, last year’s starter, once again the team’s starting punter after earning Big Ten Punter of the Year as a freshman.

Austin Spiewak is listed as the starting long snapper.

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