2 Secure and 2 Worrying Positions For Iowa’s Offense
The Iowa Hawkeyes put on a very respectable season in 2021, with a 10-4 record that saw them finish three points away from taking the Citrus Bowl against Kentucky. But, if you were to look at any of the top football stats websites, especially those that focus on NCAA football and NFL stats, you’ll probably see that the Hawkeyes had some very respectable moments throughout the season, which automatically make the immediate football future not seem so dark or bleak for Hawkeyes fans. But with that said, while some positions within the team don’t necessarily need any tweaking, especially when we talk about the defensive side of the ball, others could need a boost, especially when thinking about how to maximize this team’s overall talent in 2022.
But which positions in specific could use some help and which will most likely be bright spots in Iowa’s immediate future, all while looking forward towards the 2022 college football season? Let’s take a look.
Secure: Tight End and Running Back
The Iowa football team and its fans should be jumping for joy after securing star TE Sam LaPorta for at least one more season. Now that LaPorta has decided to come back for at least one more season to don the Hawkeyes uniform, that automatically means that Iowa will be having their best weapon at receiving for the 2022 season. LaPorta, who put on a stellar performance against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl as well as being one of the best tight ends in college football throughout all of the 2021 season will be looking at 2022 as the perfect year in which to strengthen his NFL draft stock, which was already riding high after his performances last season. Apart from LaPorta, second-tier TE Luke Lachey is giving off all of the perfect vibes to be taken as LaPorta’s successor once Sam decides to go to the NFL. Given how good both of these players are, Iowa could even look into hitting back on some of their 2018 antics, playing with two tight ends, and putting opposing defenses on blast.
On the running back core, Iowa can rest at ease too, especially with how sophomore RB Gavin Williams handled the ball against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. Williams, alongside Leshon Williams and freshman Kaleb Johnson, look like a perfect trio of options for Iowa’s running game, which will certainly have their work cut out for themselves, especially when taking into account that the WR core in the team still needs some work to be up to par with the rest of Iowa’s offensive unit.
Worrying: Quarterback and Wide Receiver
Sure, if the season was to start right now, senior QB Spencer Petras would be the option to go with at QB for the Hawkeyes, but that doesn’t necessarily scream as a great choice. Yes, Petras did get the nod against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl, but that doesn’t mean that his spot is secured as the starter for the next season, especially when having backups Alex Padilla and more importantly Joey Labas lurking in the back and waiting for a chance to take over. Iowa needs a QB that doesn’t only have a strong arm, but that can be mobile, sleek and that can think fast when having the ball in their hands, which is something that Petras lacks and Labas has. For now, and with the hopes that Petras can use this offseason to work on his speed and mobility, the job is still his, but if Labas steps up in the spring, he might end up getting the nod to start and lead Iowa’s offense.
Now, what about the wide receiver room? Well, I think we can all agree that Iowa could use some help here. The players are there, with Brody Brecht, Arland Bruce IV, and Keagan Johnson all looking right now as the slotted starters for the team, but will they be enough? What about Nico Ragaini and Charlie Jones for example? Should they be getting a nod as well here? At the end of the day, the feeling around the team is that Brecht, Bruce IV, and Johnson will have to seriously step up in the spring if they wish to continue holding on to their starting positions and they will definitely need to step their game up so that Iowa’s passing offense doesn’t rely as much on what LaPorta can bring, especially if opposing defenses are all over his coverage.