Iowa is going to need more production from its wide receivers in 2018 if its passing game is going to take a step forward. And that’s exactly what tight end Noah Fant expects.
Speaking with reporters, Fant said he expects sophomore wide receivers Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette to both have breakout seasons in 2018.
“I feel that Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette, they got a little bit of playing time last year with what they did and everything. I definitely feel that those guys are freaks of nature,” Fant said Tuesday. “I feel like they’re going to be really good. They’ve been working hard. I’ve seen definitely a lot out of Brandon especially. He goes up and gets the ball. He’s does some good stuff with that. Ihmir is fast and I haven’t been able to see many people be able to cut on a dime like he can. I’m definitely excited for those and I definitely see a lot of potential in them.”
Both Smith and Smith-Marsette had limited roles in Iowa’s offense as true freshmen in 2017. Smith caught 3 passes for 15 yards last season, while Smith-Marsette had 14 grabs for 151 yards.
As Smith and Smith-Marsette continue to develop their relationships with second-year starting quarterback Nate Stanley, it should take some pressure off Fant and wide receiver Nick Easley — Iowa’s top two returning receivers.