Breaking Down the Two Deeps: The Secondary

Most of the preseason publications are touting Iowa's secondary as being a strength for the football program this year. With two senior cornerbacks with oodles of starting experience, that is a good start. However, outside of those two players, there are some questions, possible cracks as well as plenty of optimism. HN.com continues its position by position look at the Hawkeye football program in advance of Big Ten Media Day which takes place on August 1st & 2nd.

IN THE MIX

The aforementioned senior starters at corner are Antwan Allen and Jovon Johnson. Allen has started 38 games in his career, and if he stays healthy this year, he will have 50 starts for his Hawkeye career, a stat that could be a record. Johnson has started in every game since 2003 as well as pinch hitting as a starter for an injured DJ Johnson in 2002.

Allen is 5-10, Johnson is 5-9, but they are both fairly physical defenders. Allen may be more of a hitter than Johnson, but Johnson is a phenomenal athlete who can play taller than his 5-9 listing.

Behind them, the Hawks are green. Ma'Quan Dawkins is a waterbug who made a splash on special teams in 2003, but he blew out his ACL and missed the rest of that year and most of last year. True sophomore Adam Shada got his beak wet last year, playing in several situations where Iowa brought in an extra defensive back to help against the pass.

RS Frosh Bradley Fletcher is listed on the Media Guide two-deep, and he has yet to play a down of football at Iowa.

One of Iowa's biggest losses from a year ago is Sean Considine. He played as good a job covering centerfield as any free safety of the past 25 years. True soph Charles Godfrey will step in and be asked to start at the position. Prior to Marcus Pashal's ACL injury in the Cap One Bowl, Godfrey was slated to be a corner. But Paschal will not likely be ready in time for the out of conference season, so Godfrey, a great athlete and a big hitter (you saw that on special teams last year) will take over the role.

Whether or not he remains a starter once Paschal returns will depend on how well he plays, as well as the play of Miguel Merrick, who is the starting SS on the summer depth chart.

Behind those players are Andrew Becker and Devan Moylan, a pair of walkons.

Khaliq Price and Richie Williams were not on the depth chart. Williams is now listed as a 4th year senior, so the handwriting appears to be on the wall. He did not see any game action last year. Price has yet to see any game action and he is listed as a third year junior.

Harold Dalton redshirted last year and he might be able to show some things this August.

Incoming true frosh Justin Edwards and Chris Rowell are the lone defensive back prospects arriving this fall.

THE SKINNY

Johnson and Allen are locks, and Shada certainly seems to have the inside track as the ‘next corner in'. It will be interesting to see how much improvement Fletcher can make this year, as that might impact what Iowa does with Godfrey during the upcoming offseason. If Fletcher does not progress as hoped, there is a chance that Godfrey could move to cornerback, Paschal to free and Merrick stays at SS.

However, if Fletcher really steps it up, then Godfrey could stay at Free with Paschal moving to SS, a position he played well last year.

This unit is green below the surface, but I know that several people are looking forward to seeing what Godfrey is capable of doing as an every down performer.


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