IOWA CITY, Iowa — Every Monday, Iowa releases its weekly depth chart, which doesn’t always measure up to the rotations on Saturday. Sometimes a starting guard slides over to tackle in the event of an injury. But the depth chart release does provide a bit of news almost every week.
Here’s five observations we can make from this week’s depth chart:
Lucas LeGrand listed as starting center
It’s not a surprise to see Lucas LeGrand, a sophomore, listed as the starter after replacing an injured James Daniels against Iowa State. But without listing Daniels at all, Iowa indicates that he won’t play this week. Daniels suffered a knee injury late in practice on Wednesday. It was the first game Daniels has missed in his career, although he sat out most of the spring following a medical procedure.
LeGrand graded effectively. He didn’t botch a snap and the Hawkeyes rushed for 198 yards.
Ryan Ward enters the two-deep
Ryan Ward, a fifth-year offensive lineman, appeared on the depth chart as second-team left tackle for the first time this season. Ward was a highly touted 4-star recruit from Providence Catholic in Illinois but was deterred by an injury early in fall camp. While he hasn’t cracked the starting lineup, Ward has played blocking tight end along with a few spots as a reserve along the offensive line earlier in his career.
Ward replaces redshirt freshman Brett Waechter on the depth chart. It’s undetermined whether Ward was elevated by his health and/or play or if Waechter has an injury status. We will find out more on Tuesday.
Parker Hesse has a shot to play Saturday
After recovering a fumble in the opener against Miami of Ohio and returning it 28 yards, Parker Hesse suffered an left hamstring injury after just two series. He missed the rest of that game and Saturday’s game against Iowa State. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz withheld Hesse as a precaution, but said Sunday night that Hesse has a shot at playing this week against North Dakota State.
Jerminic Smith stays ahead of Jay Scheel
The split end position has had some fluidity between Jerminic Smith and Jay Scheel since last spring. Smith was listed as the starter going into fall camp, but Scheel came out on top in the season’s first weekly depth chart.
Scheel was unable to play in the opener against Miami and Smith had a solid game, so he became the official starter going into Week 2. Smith held his position entering Week 3.
Eight true freshmen remain listed on the depth chart. On offense, just two crack the two-deeps: quarterback Nathan Stanley and wide receiver Devonte Young. True freshmen on the defensive side include defensive tackle Cedric Lattimore, outside linebacker Kristian Welch, weak-side linebacker Amani Jones, strong safety Amani Hooker and cornerback Manny Rugamba.
Keith Duncan, who is 12-for-12 on extra point tries this year, remains the top kicker.