Inside The LockerRoom

Although Spring practice 02'is nearly completed, there is still plenty of unfinished business before next Saturday's spring game. Will Fred Russell take over the starting RB job? What other depth chart moves could be seen during the game?

Any questions over a QB contervsy seem to be very unwarranted with the performance of Brad Banks this spring. Everyone knew about his escape ability in the pocket, but what has delighted many during practice has been Brad's ability to hit receivers in stride whether it be 5 or 45 yards on a consistent basis. It appears Brad's performance has reached a new height, likely due to him knowing that the job is now his for the taking. I was told if Brad performed like this last spring, he would have had the starting job from day one.

Like I have said before, Fred Russell has had an awesome spring. He has added some needed power to his elusive running and has seriously put questions into the staff's head about who will get the most carries at RB. I would not write off Aaron Greving as he does everything that Coach Jackson loves, but Russell will make a mark of his own this fall. Mark my words!

The DE position is young, but there is talent at the position. Howard Hodges has been a player people have raved about in practice this past two years, and this spring appears to be no different. I continually hear that he is the fastest DE around the corner that we have had at Iowa in a long time. I think we may have found our next sack artist at Iowa before Hodges graduates. Also, Jonathan Babineaux is filling into the DE position quite nicely and appears to be ready to take over the run-stopping ability of Aaron Kampman. Derreck Robinson also has starting potential as this position could surprise many this fall.

Many are still wondering why Tony Jackson is still at TE. The staff loves his explosiveness and blocking ability, but is very concerned with his hands; a large reason he will not play a majority of downs this fall. Would it not be better suited for Tony to show his athletic prowess at another position?

DJ Johnson and Derek Pagel are both bringing that senior leadership to the defensive backfield. While it was highly expected that younger players, Antwan Allen and Jeremire Roberts, would take over the starting jobs; DJ and Derek have proved otherwise this spring. Do not count these guys out as being starters throughout next season, especially Pagel.

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