IOWA Town, Iowa — Iowa mentor Kirk Ferentz on Thursday determined defensive line and limited stop as the team’s greatest concerns heading into the offseason.
The Hawkeyes, who finished 9-4 and ranked 25th after beating Mississippi Condition in the Outback Bowl, shed a application-higher 4 gamers who remaining university early for the NFL. Tight stop was by considerably the hardest strike, with redshirt sophomore T.J. Hockenson and junior Noah Fant each projected to be higher picks after declaring them selves qualified for the draft.
“When you might be a very good soccer staff, you going to lose very good gamers,” Ferentz reported in the course of his annual season-ending information conference. “It’s one more craze in faculty soccer that we will find out to alter and offer with.”
Iowa’s defensive line was so deep in 2018 that it could afford to use A.J. Epenesa, the Major Ten’s sack leader with 10.5, mostly as a third-down professional. Epenesa may well will need to enjoy just about every down in 2019.
The Hawkeyes shed Parker Hesse, Matt Nelson and Sam Brincks to graduation, and Anthony Nelson bolted for the NFL after starting 27 game titles at defensive stop. Iowa also moved promising lineman Tyler Linderbaum to centre, wherever he could start as soon as subsequent season.
The Hawkeyes could be without having junior faculty transfer Daviyon Nixon as nicely. Nixon sat out past season in hopes of currently being prepared to help Iowa in 2019 and beyond, but Ferentz was vague about his long term with the Hawkeyes.
“He is thinking of his selections right now,” reported Ferentz of Nixon, who is enrolled in classes but has also submitted his identify to the NCAA’s transfer portal. “We’ll see wherever it goes.”
The Hawkeyes were not stunned to see Fant depart for the pros after he had a big season as a sophomore in 2017. But Hockenson’s rise from a supporting part to successful the Mackey Award as the nation’s top limited stop took all people by shock.
Iowa may well have to re-alter their playbook subsequent fall to accommodate losing the best limited stop duo in The usa.
The Hawkeyes will probably lean additional closely on extensive receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith, two juniors who improved in 2018. Iowa may well also see one more limited stop or two emerge from a group that contains junior Shaun Beyer and senior Nate Wieting.
Senior Drew Cook, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound previous quarterback, moved to limited stop in the spring of 2017. Cook’s father Marv was an All-American limited stop for Iowa in 1988 prior to playing in the NFL.
“Offensively, we could enjoy with a few wideouts and working backs,” Ferentz reported. “But we feel like we have limited ends on the roster that can enjoy nicely. We’ll just have to appear at just about every risk.”