The media gathered for the first 30 minutes of Iowa spring football practice today. Hawkeye Insider was on hand to make some observations about who was in, who was out, and some notes on the rotations.
As expected, linebacker Ben Niemann and running back Derrick MItchell, cornerback Greg Mabin and offensive lineman James Daniels were out. Niemann actually looked pretty fine and went through some of the exercises such as stretching but did not have a jersey on. Derrick Mitchell had his arm in a sling so it appears as if it is a shoulder injury but he was not dressed. He did stretch with the team and was very vocal.
Mabin did not dress but also stretched out with the team. Daniels did not participate at all and has a brace on the knee where he had his meniscus repaired.
Cornerback Josh Jackson was said to be nursing an injury as well and would not participate but he actually did. He was dressed but in a red limited contact jersey. With Mabin out, Jackson was actually on the first team.
Offensive lineman Mitch Keppy was another player that appeared to be hampered with an injury. He did not dress and was on crutches.
There were no surprises at quarterback. Beathard was the main man and appeared healthy and not limited in any fashion. Wiegers fell in line behind him. It still looks as if Ryan Boyle has an edge over Drew Cook in the limited practice we saw.
Mitchell is out so running back rotations aren't totally clear. However, first team reps were split by LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley. After those two, it is a mix of Eric Graham and Marcel Joly.
Drake Kulick got the first team reps at fullback but Brady Ross isn't far behind.
The first team offensive line from left to right was Cole Croston, Boone Myers, Sean Welsh, Keegan Render, and Ike Boettger. When Daniels is available he is expected to be the center while Welsh slides back to right guard. For now, it looks like Keegan Render is the sixth guy.
The defensive line was as expected. Parker Hesse and Matt Nelson were the defensive ends while the tackles were Nathan Bazata and Jaleel Johnson. Faith Ekakitie also got some first team reps. Drew Ott was not seen at the practice but that probably is not an indication of anything.
Josey Jewell was there at linebacker but had two new running mates. Bo Bower was in for Ben Niemann while he nurses an injury. Aaron Mends was the starting weakside linebacker and looked solidly ahead of Jack Hockaday. Angelo Garbutt played as much as Jack Hockaday and is the back-up to Jewell. Garbutt has risen considerably up the depth chart and they're obviously high on his abilities.
Cornerbacks were Desmond King and Josh Jackson. Safeties were Miles Taylor and Brandon Snyder. Taylor is noticeably much bigger than he was a year ago. Snyder seems to have the free safety position locked down. Michael Ojemudia and Maurice Fleming would be believed to be the next pair of corners but that was not the case. It was Ojemudia but the other was Jonathan Lubanza instead of Maurice Fleming. Lubanza actually looked the part. I thought Fleming may have a slight injury bug but he was a full participant on special teams so I'm not sure what the situation was there. Jake Gervase and Anthony Gair were the back-up safeties.
During special teams work the punt returners were Desmond King, Josh Jackson, and Jerminic Smith. The first punter out was Colten Rastetter followed by Ben Camby and then Miguel Recinos.
The coaches were very energetic especially Seth Wallace, LeVar Woods, and Bobby Kennedy.
Austin Blythe was on hand taking in the spring practice.