IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa opened up practice to the media Wednesday for about 20 minutes. It wasn’t enough time to gather substantial opinions about player development since last season, but it was enough time for a few quick observations.
Here are five takeaways from the media availability.
1. Levi Paulsen wasn’t practicing. His absence from drills was the biggest surprise. It might not be anything; it might be a bigger concern. Still, he was listed as the starting right guard on the depth chart. His situation is a question coach Kirk Ferentz will be asked this spring.
2. Romeo McKnight also was out. He is dealing with a left knee injury. This has been a reccurring issue for the backup defensive end.
3. Running back depth is a major concern. This isn’t a surprise. It’s why Iowa moved defensive back Camron Harrell to the position for spring. But the lack of bodies stands out when watching only four running backs go through position drills. Making sure every running back isn’t overworked and makes it through spring healthy is a priority.
4. Spencer Petras passes the eye test. At 6-foot-5, he is the tallest Iowa quarterback, and he stands out in quarterback drills. Nate Stanley, at 6-4, 242 pounds, is thicker, but Petras has the frame that every old-school football coach wants at the position. Now, spring practice will show how the rest of his game matches up.
5. Iowa was getting after it early in the morning. It should come as no surprise that the Hawkeyes like to hit. The final period of the open session saw the offensive line and tight ends go against the defensive line and linebackers in an outside run blocking drill. Video is below.