Hawkeye Hits will run each Tuesday and Friday morning on Hawkeye Insider and is a story meant for only premium members. It is pertinent and noteworthy information about the Iowa Hawkeyes gathered by our insiders over the past handful of days. Other premium information can also be found on the message board, The Swarm.
Hawkeye Hits will bring you the inside information you desire on the Hawkeye football team, the Hawkeye basketball team, any other sports, as well as recruiting nuggets.
The Tuesday October 27 edition begins NOW. Grab your coffee and donuts!
- Iowa is coming off their bye week and will face Maryland on Saturday. The good news; they appear to be healthier. Offensive tackle Boone Myers wideout Tevaun Smith, running back LeShun Daniels, and tight end Jake Duzey are back on the depth chart.
- Daniels is listed as one of the possible running back starters along with Akrum Wadley and Derrick Mitchell. Boone Myers is shown as the backup left tackle to Cole Croston. Jake Duzey, with George Kittle, is the backup tight end to Henry Krieger Coble. Tevaun Smith is back as the starting wideout with Jerminic Smith his backup.
- One thing I gather from all that is the possibility of Cole Croston sliding down to right tackle to start to allow Sean Welsh to be able to move inside. This would kick true freshman James Daniels out of the starting lineup and allow him to provide depth once again to the interior players. That is all assuming Myers is ready to go. It is a likely possibility in my opinion.
- The player that did not make the depth chart this week was running back Jordan Canzeri. He sufered an ankle injury against Northwestern and his status has not been confirmed but he is not expected to be back for the Maryland game. The same goes for offensive tackle Ike Boettger. C.J. Beathard will play and will start but I doubt he's at 100 percent. However, with the time off that they have had, I expect him to be a bit more mobile than he was against the Wildcats in Evanston.
- I wrote yesterday about how poor the Maryland defense is. It is time to consider the teams the opponent has played to make that number what is is. Maryland, unlike Illinois, Northwestern, and Wisconsin, has already faced Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State. Their numbers may look a bit more crooked because of that.
- Maryland's weakness has been rush defense. They're one of the worst in the Big Ten in this department. Two guys on their defensive unit worth mentioning are linebacker Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Will Likely. Both are very strong players and were highly recruited. Likely is also dangerous in the return game.
- With Beathard still dinged up a bit and the Terrapins struggling against the run, I expect this game to be a lot of downhill rushing attack from the Hawkeyes. They have three backs ready to roll and all have been productive this year. Maryland is one of the worst teams in time of possession and that is because teams have been able to sustain long drives by pounding it on the ground. Iowa should try to do the same.
- Defensively, Iowa has been great all year. A lot of times teams return back from the bye week and are a bit rusty, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. They'll probably start out a bit slow in that area as they work to get back in a groove. The defense should carry them in the early going but they'll have to be mindful of quarterback Perry Hills because he can be quite the runner.
- It's the same as it has been. Iowa would love to finish out the class with offensive tackle Matt Farniok and defensive back K.J. Sails. Farniok is most likely down to the Huskers and the Hawkeyes. Though Nebraska has struggled this season, that will be a tough battle for Iowa to win. Though they should land Sails.
- If Farniok does not go their way, the Hawkeyes will duke it out with Wisconsin for offensive tackle Alaric Jackson of Detroit. Iowa has had success in Detroit and they will look to do so again. I like their chances with Jackson but he's only an option if they do not feel great about Farniok. The battle for Sails is also with Wisconsin and Iowa seems to have a strong grasp on that one.
- On Sails: He did just pick up an offer from West Virginia and the Mountaineers do very strong recruiting work in Florida so it may be something to pay attention to moving forward. However, I think the biggest challenge for his services are other future offers. I think the fact he has not made his decision yet is because he is awaiting in-state offers from Florida State or Miami. The Seminoles are still recruiting him and he visited there a few weeks ago. The Hurricanes just fired Al Golden and if they hire a new coach quickly after the season, he could decide to pull the trigger on the Florida defensive back.
- I'm ready to go ahead and say I do think the Hawkeyes will land 2017 four-star offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. He's been at a lot of Iowa games for visits this year and seems to have a strong affinity for the program. The winning only helps matters at this point. He'll probably be someone that has quite an offer sheet at the end of the day but he could be one of the next commits in the 2017 class.
- Big-time legacy defensive end A.J. Epenesa will always be a hot topic of conversation and Iowa will be in it until the end for him. The end is far away, though, as he won't be someone that chooses quickly. Winning is important to him and that is how the Hawkeyes land the blue-chipper.
- I spoke with former cornerback Jalen Embry who left the Hawkeyes for Iowa Central just before the season. He's on his way to being an NCAA qualifier once again and can enroll at a college in May. Though because he still has three years of eligibility remaining after this season, he could also wish to play another year at the junior college level before signing with an FBS program and he is considering that option. He's having an excellent season and would like to return to Iowa at some point or head to Pittsburgh to be with his step-brother Avonte Maddox and be coached by Pat Narduzzi who knows all about Detroit from his time at Michigan State. It'll be interesting to see how that one shakes out. Embry speaks regularly with Reese Morgan and Phil Parker.