One of the positions receiving a lot of emphasis during fall camp for the Iowa Hawkeyes is offensive tackle. They knew going into this season that it would be an area of concern. They are attempting to replace departing starters Andrew Donnal and Brandon Scherff with Boone Myers and Ike Boettger.
Scherff was also a consensus All-American and the recipient of the Outland Trophy during the 2014-2015 season so there's big shoes to fill.
Who's in line to step in? Boone Myers at left tackle and Ike Boettger at right tackle. Tall orders for two players that are only sophomores beginning their third year with the program.
Myers is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds and from Webster City, Iowa, while Boetgger is 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds and from Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Saturday's practice included scrimmage action where the first team offense competed against the first team defense. It did not start pleasant for the two tackles. The offense was not able to produce any momentum or rhythm on any of the first few drives, as defensive ends Drew Ott and Nate Meier lived in the backfield and disrupted everything.
Myers and Boettger did get their feet under them during portions of the practice, but for the large majority, they were overwhelmed and had their hands full with Ott and Meier coming off the edge.
If Saturday is any indication, the area of concern going in still remains. The offensive tackles have a long way to go and their development could determine the fate of the team's success. Without their emergence, it will make it increasingly more difficult for Beathard to stretch the field vertically, and a more daunting task to establish any semblance of a running game, both vital aspects to the offense.