"A year ago at this time the big concern was can Nate be an every-down defensive lineman with his size. He answered those questions last spring and last season," Morgan said. "We still have to detail things in terms of his technique. He's an undersized guy that thinks he's bigger and tougher than he is, and you love that about him, but he's making some progress."
He added, "And the nice thing about him is he's doing well in all areas of his life right now."
One of the spots that is a question mark for the Hawkeyes, is the first string tackle spot.
"Right now we're starting with Jaleel Johnson, who's our most experienced inside guy; Nate Bazata, who's extremely reliable, plays the blocks well," Morgan said. "He just really adds a lot to that group; Faith [Ekakite] is -- the last couple practices, last two practices, he's stepped forward and if he can keep maintaining the same type of effort and tempo and improvement in the next six practices, that will really earn the trust that you're looking for."
With the big play of Johnson and Ekakite, the Hawkeyes are making strides. Especially junior Kyle Terlouw, fresh out of Iowa Central junior college.
"Kyle Terlouw, No. 61, is really an intriguing guy. He's going to play for us next year. He's going to get on the field. He's very tough. He's a junior college young man out of Iowa Central that had Division I scholarship opportunities, chose to come here, and we're delighted to have him," Morgan said.