IOWA FOOTBALL POSITION PREVIEWS 2017: THE RUNNING BACKS

Iowa Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players: Welcome to the first of our position previews for the upcoming football season. There are more question marks on the roster than usual this year compared to those in recent memory, and we’ll address all those questions marks later, but for now, we start with one of, if not the, greatest commodity for the Hawkeyes right now: running back.

I can tell you about how Wadley is smaller and more dynamic than most backs we’ve seen in the Black and Gold as of late (save for Jordan Canzeri) but that doesn’t mean he plays small. At 5-11, 195 lbs (we all know the coaches want that to get closer to 205 by the time the season rolls around) he’s a far cry from the Mark Weisman’s, Marcus Cokers and Adam Robinson’s of the world. I’m of the belief that Wadley should play at the weight he’s most comfortable, but I also believe Kirk Ferentz and Chris Doyle and the rest of the staff know what’s best for their running backs to keep them healthy for an entire Big Ten season, so who really knows anything?

Iowa Football 2017 Match Preview and Prediction

Iowa Football 2017

And that health thing is important. Keeping Wadley fresh for 12 13 14 15 games this season is going to be paramount to the Hawkeyes’ success. He’s Iowa’s best player on offense, and defenses sure as shit know that, especially since Iowa’s receiving situation is basically Matt VandeBerg and a bunch of guys from the Keokuk YMCA. Iowa has four starters returning on the offensive line and a very capable fullback in Drake Kulick (more on him shortly) to give Wadley much of the supporting cast he needs to succeed. But a lot depends on how he’s used, and who’s around to fill in when he needs a breather.

Iowa Football 2017, The only other running back currently on the roster to get any touches besides Wadley last year is Toks Akinribade. He carried the ball 16 times last year as a true freshman, which is a pretty good indicator that the coaches like what he brings to the table. He jumped over Marcel Joly on the depth chart, who saw a handful of touches in 2015. Sure, Akinribade’s carries came mostly in garbage time, and he still only averaged 2 yards a pop, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at his high school game tape and try to analyze what he brings to the table two years after being out of high school!

Iowa Football 2017 Match Schedule

Look at those cuts! At 6-0 and over two bills, he should prove to be a good complement to Wadley. If guys like Damon Bullock and Weisman can contribute at the running back position for Iowa, I see no reason why Akinribade can’t either. Or any of the other guys below, for that matter. Toren Young is largely believed to take over the third running back spot, even though Joly is more seasoned. At 5-11 and 220 lbs, he just screams short yardage back. He will definitely be a change of pace compared to the above guys. Young turned some heads in high school in Madison, but never officially received an offer from the Badgers. Michigan State, Nebraska and Minnesota reportedly showed interest, but the Hawkeyes were the only ones to extend an offer. That’s the kind of story where guys like to make other schools pay.
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