IOWA CITY, Iowa — Would Desmond King want to play wide receiver? He doesn’t hesitate with his answer.
“I would like to for sure,” the Iowa cornerback said.
The Hawkeyes are looking to get more production out of the passing game after losing star wide receiver Matt VandeBerg to a broken leg. Iowa threw for only 142 yards against Minnesota last week.
King is a former high school running back. He’s familiar with the offensive side of the ball. There is only one problem here. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz isn’t too keen on the idea.
“It’s a lot easier said than done,” Ferentz said. “He’s working hard on defense, first and foremost. That’s a really important position he plays. You think about how many yards he ran for in the Northwestern game, what kind of energy and effort that took, and then certainly basically every week he’s done a really good job in the return game.”
If Iowa continues to be inconsistent in the passing game at Purdue on Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN2), Ferentz should reconsider his stance. King possesses the skill set to potentially jump-start the passing game.
Yes, there is concern about overuse. Iowa could limit the number of snaps King plays. Bring him in on big third-down situations, in the red zone or when the offense may need a boost.
The ideal situation is for the Iowa passing game to thrive without King, but if it can’t King should get the chance to see if he’d be the same kind of playmaker on offense that he is on defense.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen,” King said. “The question hasn’t popped up to me and when it does I would seize the opportunity.”