IOWA CITY, Ia. - While Brandon Wegher's absence continued to grab the headlines, the rest of his Iowa teammates forged ahead in the heat here on Saturday with an open scrimmage at Kinnick Stadium. As with most years at the annual Kids Day event, there were some questions answered and some of them remained open in regards to the 2010 season.
As he did on a national radio on Friday, Coach Kirk Ferentz acknowledged Wegher's personal leave from the team starting last Sunday. He said he expected his sophomore running back to be ready for classes and would be surprised if he didn't return to the program.
In this piece, we'll provide news, notes and observations from the day at Kinnick. Comments about Wegher can be viewed in various spots in the site - video and audio of Ferentz and players, transcripts. So, without further ado, here‘s what else is going on:
Ferentz said that Coker hurt a shoulder early on in camp and will miss one to two more weeks with the injury. The coach said that Prater, the team's No. 1 corner, pulled something in his leg and they weren't taking any chances with him. Ferentz said it was a precautionary thing and nothing serious.
C.J. Fiedorowicz got racked by Jason White on a short reception from A.J. Derby. It was tough to tell what he hurt, but Ferentz said that other than Coker and Prater, the rest of the guys were bumped and bruised, nothing major.
Position Changes (sort of): Dakota Getz, who is listed as a tight end on the roster, was working at linebacker on Saturday. Austin Vier, who Ferentz said on signing day would get a look at QB, ran with the tight ends and switched his number from 11 to 81.
First-Team Offensive Line - (L-R) Riley Reiff, Julian Vandervelde, Josh Koeppel, Adam Gettis, Markus Zusevics. Second-Team (L-R) Nolan MacMillan, Conor Boffeli, James Ferentz, Cody Hundertmark, Woody Orne.
Brett Van Sloten also got a decent amount of reps with the twos at RT. Koeppel worked with the ones the most on Saturday, but he said afterward that when that happens, Ferentz picks up more reps the next day.
Second-team defensive line looked like a work in progress, but the most utilized lineup looked like LeBron Daniel and Dominic Alvis at end and Thomas Nardo and Steve Bigach at tackle. Joe Forgy also got decent amount of run with twos at end.
True Freshman: I think Miller working with the starters at safety was the biggest surprise for me. Granted, starters Tyler Sash and Brett Greenwood saw limited action on Saturday, but Miller conceivably has passed some folks on the depth chart and could play as a true freshman.
Kevonte Martin-Manley was targeted quite a big on Saturday but didn't haul in any balls. Most of the passes were about five-feet out of his reach.
A.J. Derby threw some nice passes, but it's pretty obvious that he has a long way to go.
DeAndre Johnson probably got the most carries of any back on Saturday. He ripped off a nice 30-yard run after breaking a tackle by all-world Adrian Clayborn. However, for the most part, the back from Miami looked tentative without much of a burst through the hole or the ability to get to the edge. He was coming off a torn ACL last season.
B.J. Lowery saw quite a bit of action with the second team defense. Starter Micah Hyde said that B.J. reminds them of Amari Spievey, who also wore No. 19 before being drafted by the Detroit Lions in April.
Carl Davis also saw many second-team reps at defensive tackle. I would not be surprised to see him get his feet wet this season. He looked the part size wise.
Andrew Donnal, an Army all-American along with Fiedorowitz and Derby, worked with the third and fourth teams.
Place-Kicking/Punting It looked to me to be pretty even, and that includes Mike Meyer, a true freshman walk-on from Dubuque Wahlert, who made his kicks look effortless. To me, he was one of the nice surprises of the day.
The biggest cheer of the day came after Clayborn blasted through the line to block a Murray attempt. I did not count that against Murray, as he got a do-over with his blocking broke down.
Ryan Donahue looked impressive as always and his back-up, Eric Guthrie also looked solid. Incoming freshman Jonathan Mullings had some decent kicks with hang time, but he clearly looked like a red shirt candidate. He really has a slow, deliberate motion and Lester Erb, who was holding the stop watch, appeared to be commenting on that with the Australian.
-I thought that Greg Castillo looked really good at corner. He picked off a John Wienke pass intended for Keenan Davis early in the practice that would have been a pick six. He was challenged a fair amount of times on Saturday, and he didn't get beat.
-Line of the Day - Coach Rick Kaczenski to DE LeBron Daniel: "LeBron, how about you get your ass off some blocks."
-Herman dropped a couple of passes on Saturday. He needs to become more sure-handed to take the next step.
-Brad Rogers has been moved to fullback, but he did play some tailback on Saturday and Ferentz said he might be used there if Wegher remains out.
-Adam Robinson and Jewel Hampton didn't get a lot of reps, but I thought both looked really good in the passing game. Also, Robinson caught Sash and Jeff Tarpinian on consecutive blitz pickups, lighting up both defenders up pretty good. On one of them, it gave Ricky Stanzi the time to hit DJK on a bomb.
-It looked like there was a defined demarcation line between Stanzi and Vandenberg and the rest of the QBs. Stanzi is the clear cut one. Vandenberg can make all of the throws just needs a bit more seasoning.
-Brett Morse is a beast at fullback. I think he'll be playing on Sundays someday.
-Ferentz said that Gettis has taken the biggest step forward in camp among all players and commented that although he'd be one of the smallest guards in the league the coach expected him to be one of the best.