Rob Report: Kids Day

HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe took in the action from Kids Day along the sidelines of historic Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. His notebook includes an injury report, a look at true freshmen that stood out and much more. Read all about it right here in this HN.com Premium Notebook.

IOWA CITY - An estimated crowd of 8,000 fans showed up for Saturday's Annual Kids Day at sun-drenched Kinnick Stadium. They received their first glimpse of their 2009 Hawkeyes.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz was pleased with the workout but said there was a lot of ground to cover before the season opener here in three weeks against Northern Iowa. A few key players also were dressed in street clothes instead of shoulder pads, as injuries were one of the main stories of the day.

Both starting offensive tackles – Bryan Bulaga and Kyle Calloway – along with No. 1 running back Jewel Hampton watched from the sidelines. All three have knee issues.

INJURY REPORT: Here's the list of players that did not dress in pads on Saturday: Bulaga, Calloway, Hampton, Colin Sandeman, Brandon Wegher, Chris Rowell, Julian Vandervelde and Chad Geary. There may have been more, both those are the ones that stood out to me.

We know about Vandervelde and Geary. Both at offseason surgery and weren't expected to do much in camp.

Hampton "tweaked" same knee he hurt during the summer, according to Coach Ferentz. The original injury was thought to be to a ligament in his right knee.

Calloway said that he has an IT injury of the knee (runner's knee) and has missed a lot of camp.

Sandeman said he tweaked his hammy during the week and didn't want to aggravate it. He said it was feeling better today and hopes to get back on the field this week.

Bulaga banged up a knee late this week.

Ferentz said outside of Jordan Bernstine, who was there on Saturday after suffering a season-ending knee injury in practice this week, none of the other injuries were major.

TRUE FRESHMEN: Nolan McMillan (left tackle), Keenan Davis (receiver) and Micah Hyde (corner) all got significant reps with the first two units on Saturday. They appear to be the front runners for immediate playing time.

Jordan Cotton replaced Sandeman as the No. 1 punt returner, but the newcomer appeared way down the depth chart at receiver.

Josh Brown and Brad Rogers received some meaningful reps at tailback, but their chances of seeing game action as first-year players might come down to the health of Hampton and Wegher.

The rest of the rookie class is buried down the depth chart at this point.

QUICK HITTERS:

-Ferentz said that there's still a chance Trent Mossbrucker could redshirt this year. Daniel Murray certainly looked like the more consistent kicker on Saturday, only missing one attempt all day. Murray hit 8 for 8 (six from 40 and two from 50) during a kick-off. Mossbrucker missed two during that session. Murray's lone miss of the day came from 50 during the scrimmage.

-Cody Hundertmark, who played tackle as a true freshman before sitting out last season with an injury, played exclusively at end on Saturday.

-Skill players on the top line of the depth chart were Rick Stanzi at QB, Paki O'Meara at RB, and Trey Stross and Marvin McNutt at receiver.

-McNutt and Davis really did a nice job showing off their hands. You would have been hard pressed to notice one is converting from QB and the other is a true freshman.

-The first team offensive line was (from left to right): Kyle Haganman, Riley Reiff, Rafael Eubanks, Dan Doering and Dace Richardson. Adam Gettis was the next guy to rotate in at right guard with Josh Koeppel coming in at center. Andy Kuempel ran at No. 2 RT and Nolan McMillan was a second-team LT.

-Jeremiha Hunter looked to have a clear cut edge over Jeff Tarpinian at the Will LB spot along side starters Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds based in reps. Tarp played a lot at the LEO spot behind Edds with Tyler Nielsen at No. 2 Will and Bruce Davis MIKE. Davis did a real nice job on blitz packages.

-Christian Ballard took quite a few reps at DT today after staring all of last season at end. The starting D-line looked like Ballard and Clayborn at end with Mike Daniels and Karl Klug in the middle. But Broderick Binns played a lot at end with Ballard replacing Daniels at tackle. I came away feeling a lot better about the defensive front than I did in the spring. There is depth and talent here.

-The hit of the day went to David Cato when he came up and drilled Jeff Brinson as the latter hit the hole.

-O'Meara ripped off the biggest run of the day, about a 40-yarder over the left side of Haganman and Reiff.

-When the ones played the ones for a brief time, Stanzi hooked up with Trey Stross and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a pair of 30-yard completions.

-When the twos went against twos, Vandenberg connected with Adam Robinson on a screen pass that went for long yardage.

-Walk-on true freshman Wyatt Suess threw a long touchdown to Nick Kuchel late in the day.

-It appeared like Brinson and Robinson are locked in a good battle with O'Meara on the depth chart.

-Shaun Prater ran at No. 1 corner despite the fact he'll be suspended for the first two games. Williams Lowe, Greg Castillo and Micah Hyde all got time behind him.

-Matt Murphy, a true freshman from Clinton, Iowa worked at tight end on Saturday despite being listed as an offensive lineman.

LOOKIN' GOOD (guys that played well on Saturday): Stanzi, Daniels, Richardson, Clayborn, Binns, Ballard, Eubanks, McNutt, Angerer, Edds, Robinson, O'Meara, Davis, Spievey (when they actually challenged him), Murray, Moeaki, Reisner, Herman, Mossbrucker, Hunter, Donahue.

SATURDAY STRUGGLES (guys that endured a long afternoon): Brinson, Nolan McMillan, Koeppel, Kuempel, Haganman, Tarpinian, Morse, Casey McMillan, Gettis.


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