Iowa released a new depth chart in preparation for the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. The Hawkeyes will be represented in the "Windy City" by quarterback C.. Beathard, cornerback Desmond King and linebacker Josey Jewell.
Derek Young of Hawkeye Insider shares some of his observations.
RISE OF JAY SCHEEL?
Towards the end of fall camp it was mentioned by offensive coordinator Greg Davis that Jay Scheel had indeed become more dependable and was starting to make some significant movement up the depth chart. He was flirting with cementing his position as the fourth option behind Matt VandeBerg, Jerminic Smith, and Riley McCarron. Fast forward to now and Scheel is now listed on the depth chart as a possible starter. The split end starter is listed as Jerminic Smith or Jay Scheel. VandeBerg and McCarron are the other starters. It may not mean a whole lot but it indeed is an indicator that he's beginning to win the coaching staff's trust.
STILL OPEN SEASON AT WIDEOUT
Despite Scheel's surge, it is a group that is largely unproven. They trust Riley McCarron but he's had little impact in actual games outside of the touchdown reception in Ames a year ago to defeat Iowa State. Falconer played as a true freshman but very little. Jonathan Parker has only been used as a hybrid player on reverses and jet sweeps. Scheel has received zero significant playing time. Jerminic Smith logged a couple starts and performed admirably but that's still a small sample size to draw from. All five are on the two-deep at receiver. McCarron is listed as a starter ahead of Falconer. VandeBerg is the starter ahead of Parker. And it's Jerminic Smith or Scheel at the final wide receiver spot.
The separation shows that they have very little to knowledge or understanding of how it may shake out after the first spot or two. Fall camp will be a huge opportunity for a few in this position group to leave a mark.
TYLER WIEGERS IS ONE, BIG DUDE
C.J. Beathard is not small by any means and he is listed on the depth chart at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds. He is a put-together player for the quarterback position. Wiegers trumps that even more and his measurables on paper are staggering. Wiegers is listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. He'll likely be penciled in as the starter after this season once Beathard graduates. Though it could possibly turn into a battle with Nathan Stanley. That will be a fun one to watch.
SECOND UNIT OFFENSIVE LINE
From left to right, the second unit of the offensive line reads as Brett Waechter, Lucas LeGrand, Steve Ferentz, Keegan Render, and Dalton Ferguson. This was the main group used as the second unit in the Spring as well. Render will likely be the versatile lineman much like James Daniels and Sean Welsh were a year ago. He'll come off the bench as the 6th man on the offensive line but have the versatility and ability to play many different positions across the line, and that is something valued highly by offensive line coach Brian Ferentz.
NO SURPRISES ON DEFENSE
The two-deep looks the same on defense as it did in the Spring. The only change is that Maurice Fleming has departed and redshirt freshman Michael Ojemudia has assumed his role as a reserve at corner along with Josh Jackson. It comes as no surprise as Ojemudia had a very productive spring and nearly had his redshirt burned last season. It seems the battle at weakside linebacker has some clarity now entering Fall camp. Aaron Mends is veiwed as the regular starter, just ahead of sophomore Jack Hockaday. One name not listed in the two-deep that I think could see the field in a reserve role would be Michael Slater at defensive tackle. They'll need more rest for Jaleel Johnson who wore down towards the end of last season. Faith Ekakitie and Jake Hulett may not be enough to provide that depth.