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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Iowa
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  05/08/21 - Jake KarchinskirFr/2024, Iowa, 6-3, 279 (DS#999 DT) + More +

  An Iowa defensive lineman has entered the transfer portal. Jake Karchinski, a former three-star recruit in the Hawkeyes' 2019 class, announced via Twitter that he had entered the NCAA's transfer portal on Thursday. Karchinski, a product of Depere, Wisconsin, redshirted his freshman season and didn't see any game action last year. Karchinski is the second Iowa lineman to enter the transfer portal in the past month. Offensive lineman Noah Fenske, also a three-star 2019 recruit entered the portal on April 12 and committed to Colorado a few days later. - Iowa City Press-Citizen

(DS#999 DT) rFr/2024 DT Jake KarchinskiIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  05/04/21 - Nick NiemannrSr/2021, Iowa, 6-3, 234 (DS#19 OLB) + More +

  Nick Niemann was pulled off the Iowa bench in the thick of the 2019 Holiday Bowl, as USC quarterback Kedon Slovis was taking advantage of weak-side linebacker Djimon Colbert with his throws. Niemann settled down Iowa's defense in a back-and-forth game, and the son of Hawkeyes assistant coach Jay Niemann punctuated a 49-24 win against the Trojans by returning an interception for a touchdown.

That seemed to launch Niemann into a starring role as a fifth-year senior, and now he's done enough to get selected in the NFL Draft. The Hawkeye linebacker was taken with the first pick of the sixth round by the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. It's a great opportunity for Niemann, as the Chargers have a new defensive-minded head coach in Brandon Staley. Niemann (6-foot-3, 234 pounds) is just the second Iowa linebacker chosen in the last seven NFL drafts, joining Josey Jewell in 2017. He is the ninth linebacker of the coach Kirk Ferentz era to be drafted, following past names like Chad Greenway, Abdul Hodge, Pat Angerer, Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirskey. - Iowa City Press-Citizen


(DS#19 OLB) rSr/2021 OLB Nick NiemannIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  04/29/21 - Tyler LinderbaumrSo/2023, Iowa, 6-2, 289 (DS#1 C) + More +

  Linderbaum was one of three Rimington Trophy finalists last season as college football's most dominant center. He easily could've turned pro; a mid-second-round pick (which he was projected to be) is in line for a four-year rookie contract worth between $6 million and $7 million. But instead of assuredly hearing his name called in the NFL Draft (which begins Thursday), Linderbaum was content to be leading the Hawkeyes' offensive line into another season. "I wasn't interested," Linderbaum flatly said Tuesday.

The Solon native was so confident in returning to Iowa City that he didn't even request feedback from the College Advisory Committee, a service that helps draft-eligible underclassmen know where they stand in the eyes of NFL executives and scouts. "I wanted to compete with my buddies," Linderbaum said. "There's a lot more to do, a lot more to improve on...I was coming back for sure." As you can tell, Linderbaum wasn't wild about delving too deeply into this subject. He seemed more focused on stiff-arming media attention that will continue to come his way. "A big thing for me is just to focus on the program and my teammates," Linderbaum said. "I really am not interested in what's going around outside, what media are saying, what other people are saying." - Iowa City Press-Citizen


(DS#1 C) rSo/2023 C Tyler LinderbaumIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  04/24/21 - Jack CampbellSo/2023, Iowa, 6-4, 243 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace said there's separation between his starting trio of Jack Campbell, Seth Benson and Jestin Jacobs and the rest of his 12-man linebacker group. Of those 12, only Campbell and Benson have more than 100 game reps on defense. So, without a great deal of depth, Wallace is looking to foster as much positional flexibility with Campbell, Benson and Jacobs as possible. How? Wallace said that, during certain parts of practice, he'll make his three linebackers rotate positions after each play so they can develop more versatile skills and see the field from different perspectives. His goal is to create three linebackers who can all adjust their game, depending on the opponent's scheme.

Campbell recorded 29 tackles, 3.5 solo tackles for loss and an interception last year. A four-star Cedar Falls product who picked the Hawkeyes over Iowa State in the 2019 class, Campbell has long been seen as a future star on Iowa's defense. He was named to the Register's All-Iowa Elite Team as a junior and senior, which is a rare feat. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has previously described Campbell as the type of player with an "extra heartbeat," something he also said about Josey Jewell. "There's something extra there," Wallace said. "You just turn on the tape and watch the way that he practices. It's clear that there is a motor, there's a little bit of something tugging at his heart to get to the ball. We're anxious to get him back out there hopefully in a normal year and get back at it and see what he can do." - Iowa City Press-Citizen


(DS#999 ILB) So/2023 ILB Jack CampbellIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  04/23/21 - Sam LaPortaSo/2023, Iowa, 6-4, 249 (DS#8 TE) + More +

  It's hard to believe that Iowa's third-year tight end, the one who will likely have an NFL Draft decision to make eight or nine months from now, is experiencing his first spring football practices at the college level. Yet Sam LaPorta has taken full advantage of his developmental time at Iowa. That's been evident on the field, as he was the Hawkeyes' leader with 27 receptions in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. And it's apparent when the small-town, southern Illinois product speaks about his 22 months on campus in Iowa City.

"The developmental program that Iowa is, it's definitely a slow-build sort of process," LaPorta said Tuesday, in one of the more engaging Zoom sessions of the past year in Iowa football. "My freshman year I sort of look back now and (think), 'Oh my goodness, how could I have done those things?' Even with this past season, I look back and (realize) I've had that look three or four times now in spring ball. And I'm not messing that up anymore, the way that I messed that up in the season. "Getting that experience and getting the reps is what makes the difference in the fall." LaPorta sounds (and looks) mature enough to handle being one of the most important factors in the Hawkeyes' 2021 offense. With last year's No. 2 tight end, Shaun Beyer, off to the NFL (with the potential to get drafted), the Hawkeyes are inexperienced behind LaPorta, who at age 20 in this young group qualifies as a seasoned veteran. - Iowa City Press-Citizen


(DS#8 TE) So/2023 TE Sam LaPortaIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  04/20/21 - Xavior WilliamsrSr/2022, Iowa, 5-11, 184 (DS#32 CB) + More +

  It's difficult to know where Williams is on the depth chart because Terry Roberts and Matt Hankins - two of the four corners on the spring depth chart - didn't practice. But, at least on Saturday, Williams, the 5-11, 190-pound UNI transfer appeared to be Iowa's second-team right cornerback, with Brenden Deasfernandes at left cornerback. Ferentz said Williams brings a veteran presence and is "not overwhelmed" even though he's learning a new defense. Still, he is like a true freshman in the sense that he is learning a new defense. And he had an injury in the winter, which set back his physical offseason progression.

For those reasons, Ferentz said it's not fair to judge Williams and project his role based on Saturday's open practice. "I don't think you saw today probably what you're going to see in August (from Williams)," Ferentz said. "I think he's got a chance to really help our football team." Williams' receivers were rarely targeted so he wasn't very noticeable during the scrimmage. (Meaning he didn't make any big errors, either.) He left the field a little over midway through the scrimmage. He stood on the sideline with his helmet off for the rest of the scrimmage and walked with a small limp. - Iowa City Press-Citizen


(DS#32 CB) rSr/2022 CB Xavior WilliamsIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  04/10/21 - Kaevon MerriweatherrSo/2023, Iowa, 6-0, 205 (DS#30 SS) + More +

  Iowa seniors Matt Hankins and Kaevon Merriweather were not afraid to speak their mind last year after allegations of racism from former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle surfaced. Hankins shared a personal anecdote last year about the disparity of treatment he received from Doyle in comparison to his white teammates following weigh-ins after the Outback Bowl. Merriweather delivered an honest statement to fans, saying, "I would rather play in front of 1,000 fans who care about us as people outside of football and what we are standing for than 70,000 fans who only care about us when we are in uniform and on the field entertaining them." At this year's opening spring football news conference for players Tuesday, both were asked what has changed within the program. "I think we have a little bit more voice," Merriweather said on Tuesday. "And if we see anything that's going on, or any changes, we're more confident to go to coaches, and actually talk to them about those issues and see the changes within." - The Gazette

(DS#30 SS) rSo/2023 SS Kaevon MerriweatherIowa
News Source: The Gazette
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  03/23/21 - Alaric JacksonrSr/2021, Iowa, 6-6, 321 (DS#11 OT) + More +

  Jackson's NFL Draft stock has been seesawing for some time. He generated first-round buzz alongside Tristan Wirfs ahead of the 2019 season, only to see that campaign derailed in a hurry. Jackson suffered a right-knee injury on Iowa's second offensive series of the season, and although he missed just three games, the Detroit product played the rest of the year at less than 100%. A 2020 rebound plus Senior Bowl participation brought back some of that draft buzz, as Jackson was named a first-team all-Big Ten selection in starting all eight games at left tackle. But where exactly he'll land on draft weekend remains up in the air. "As far as moving around to other places on the line, I can do it day one (in the NFL), honestly," said Jackson, who worked at several other offensive-line positions outside of left tackle at the Senior Bowl. "Training for it every day - you can't be a one-trick pony - so you've got to be able to move around a little but. Someone goes down, you've got to be able to step up. So I'm positive I can do that day one." - Iowa City Press-Citizen

(DS#11 OT) rSr/2021 OT Alaric JacksonIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  02/10/21 - Mark KallenbergerrJr/2022, Iowa, 6-5, 290 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz announced Wednesday three important changes within the football program. Running backs coach Derrick Foster is leaving to join an NFL team, while offensive line coach Tim Polasek is joining the coaching staff at the University of Wyoming as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Additionally, senior offensive lineman Mark Kallenberger has elected to forgo his fifth year of eligibility and end his college football career. He will earn his degree this spring. Kallenberger joined the Hawkeyes in 2017. He is a three-year letterman while playing both guard and tackle positions on the offensive line. Kallenberger started four games at right tackle in 2020, missing two games due to injury. He earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition from league media. - Iowa Football

(DS#999 OT) rJr/2022 OT Mark KallenbergerIowa
News Source: Iowa Football
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  01/26/21 - Caleb ShudakrSr/2022, Iowa, 5-08, 178 (DS#34 K) + More +

  The good news keeps coming for the 2021 Iowa football team. Two crucial special-teams players are planning to return for their sixth-year senior seasons, the Register has learned. Starting long snapper Austin Spiewak and placekicker Caleb Shudak will return, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of their decisions. The two are roommates and are excited to be on the field together this year, one of the sources said. They join two fellow senior starters Matt Hankins (a four-year cornerback) and Zach VanValkenburg (a second-team all-Big Ten defensive end) who also would have otherwise used up their eligibility who are choosing to return in 2021. - Iowa City Press-Citizen

(DS#34 K) rSr/2022 K Caleb ShudakIowa
News Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen
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  01/19/21 - Tory TaylorFr/2024, Iowa, 6-4, 225 (DS#2 P) + More +

  Iowa freshman punter Tory Taylor continues to rack up awards. The Australian was named to the 2020 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America list on Monday, making him the fourth Hawkeye to ever to make the list. Taylor's punting average of 44.1 was No. 19 in the country, including nine of 50 yards or longer. Opposing returners averaged 4.7 yards on six punt returns and lost two fumbles while fielding punts. - The Gazette

(DS#2 P) Fr/2024 P Tory TaylorIowa
News Source: The Gazette
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  01/13/21 - Coy CronkrSr/2021, Iowa, 6-5, 305 (DS#36 OT) + More +

  Coy Cronk's first love was baseball. The larger he got, the more he gravitated towards football. It was the right move and one Cronk hopes provides his first post-college profession. The 2016 Central Catholic graduate declared for the upcoming NFL draft, signing with agent Neil Cornrich of NC Sports, LLC. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Cronk spent this season at Iowa as a graduate transfer after playing offensive tackle for four seasons at Indiana. Because of the coronavirus, the NCAA instituted a policy that the 2020 season would not count against a student-athlete's eligibility, meaning Cronk could have returned next season for a sixth year. - Indianapolis Star/News

(DS#36 OT) rSr/2021 OT Coy CronkIowa
News Source: Indianapolis Star/News
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  01/07/21 - Tyler LinderbaumrSo/2023, Iowa, 6-2, 289 (DS#1 C) + More +

  2020 RIMINGTON TROPHY FINALIST: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa,...University of Iowa sophomore center Tyler Linderbaum has been named one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's premier center in college football. Linderbaum joins Austin Blythe (2015) and Bruce Nelson (2002) as Iowa's third finalist in school history. In eight games this season, Linderbaum helped anchor an Iowa offense that ranks second in the Big Ten in fewest sacks allowed, first downs, and fourth down conversions and scoring offense, and third in red zone offense. - Iowa Football

(DS#1 C) rSo/2023 C Tyler LinderbaumIowa
News Source: Iowa Football
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  01/07/21 - *Daviyon NixonJr/2021, Iowa, 6-3, 313 (DS#2 DT) + More +

  2020 OUTLAND TROPHY (TOP INTERIOR LINEMAN) FINALIST: Daviyon Nixon, defensive tackle, Iowa,...Nixon, the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten, led the Big Ten in tackles for loss (33), tied for the conference lead in sacks (5.5), and had the most tackles by a Big Ten defensive lineman (41). Nixon, a Kenosha, Wisconsin, native, is the only player in the country to be named a finalist for the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik award. - Iowa Football

(DS#2 DT) Jr/2021 DT *Daviyon NixonIowa
News Source: Iowa Football
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  01/02/21 - Tyler LinderbaumrSo/2023, Iowa, 6-2, 289 (DS#1 C) + More +

  Tyler Linderbaum isn't done playing college football. The sophomore center from Solon announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter that he will return to the University of Iowa for at least one more season. Linderbaum has started 21 consecutive games for Iowa and has been named to various all-American teams in the past couple of weeks. "The 2020 season was both challenging and incredibly rewarding," Linderbaum said. "I had the best time playing football with great teammates and coaches who are invested in making me a better football player and a better person. The chance to play football in the NFL is a dream of mine, but I am not done being an Iowa Hawkeye. "There are only a few years I can play college football, and I believe there is more to do and more to learn. I look forward to continuing to work with my teammates and coaches to reach my potential in 2021." - The Gazette

(DS#1 C) rSo/2023 C Tyler LinderbaumIowa
News Source: The Gazette
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