Tevaun Smith filled a void in the Iowa offense last season playing the role of the deep threat that every offense needs. The Hawkeyes seldom went up top last year, but when they did the ball was always headed in the direction of Smith, it seemed.
Well, Smith graduates and Iowa is left wondering who will fill in for him. The early signs pointed to Jerminic Smith, who filled in for Tevaun against Illinois while he was hurt. Jerminic caught four passes for 118 yards in that game and showed his big play potential. However, as the Hawkeyes progressed through fall camp another name came to the surface.
Scheel, who is entering his third season in the Hawkeye program, has emerged as the starter at split end for the Hawkeyes for their week one matchup against the Miami (OH) Redhawks. Scheel, who was one of my favorites coming to Iowa in the 2014 class, seems like he has finally put it all together and is ready to step onto the field for Iowa.
He was an athlete coming out of Union HS in La Porte City, IA where he played a lot of QB, but he projected right away to wide receiver at the next level for me. Well, here we are and Jay is finally getting his shot.
HI's own Derek Young has been high on Jay all fall mostly because of the praise he is receiving from his coaches and his teammates.
He has tacked on about 15-20 pounds during his time in Iowa City and has learned two different receiver spots. so that increases his versatility and will ultimately lead to more snaps for Scheel.
While there is plenty of upside, there are a few concerns that I have. One is the fact that he's never caught a pass in a game for Iowa. He lacks a great deal of experience. The other thing is that he could be subject to injury. He was dealing with some hamstring issues earlier in the fall, but it doesn't appear to be serious. The Hawkeyes are going to need him to stay healthy because he will wind up being one of the more dynamic wideouts on the roster as this season progresses.
He has finally matured enough to break into a starting role for the Hawkeyes and if he can avoid injury, he could wind up being the big play guy for Iowa this season. He had the talent and the athleticism, you could see that from his tape. All he needed was his opportunity and he's definitely going to get it this fall.