What you need to know ... The Iowa offense will be much like
the 2005 version with balance, occasional explosion, and a few
moments of baffling rough spots. There won't be many down
moments if Drew Tate is a Big Ten Player of the Year caliber
quarterback he's supposed to be, but he can't get banged up.
Albert Young leads a talented backfield that should combine for
close to 2,000 yards behind a talented line with a nice mix of
steady veterans and great young prospects. The receiving corps
is fast but inexperienced, while the tight ends will be the
stars right away with three great options.
Passing: Drew Tate
219-352, 2,828 yds, 22 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Albert Young
249 carries, 1,334 yds, 8 TD
Receiving: Scott Chandler
47 catches, 552 yds, 2 TD
Star of the offense: Senior QB Drew Tate
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Dace Richardson
Best pro prospect: Senior TE Scott Chandler
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Tate, 2) RB Albert
Young, 3) Chandler
Strength of the offense: Tight end, running back
Weakness of the offense:
Inexperienced receivers and reserves on the line
Can Drew Tate close out with an All-American bang? One of
the tougher competitors in college football, Tate brings the
attitude to the Hawkeyes. He's efficient and experienced, and
now he has to make sure he can stay healthy after missing time
here and there throughout last season. Jason Manson and Jake
Christensen are capable backups, but Iowa needs Tate to have any
chance of becoming a Big
The key to the unit: Keep Drew Tate healthy and
develop Jake Christensen so he's ready to roll next season.
Quarterback Rating: 9
- Drew Tate, Sr. - 219-352, 62%, 2,828 yds, 22 TD, 7 INT,
44 carries, 41 yds, 2 TD
Tate cut down on his interceptions and improved his decision
making by leaps and bounds from his sophomore year, and now he
appears ready to make the jump to All-America status as a
senior. He got better as last season went on finishing up by
throwing for 351 yards and four touchdowns against Minnesota and
346 yards and three scores in the loss to Florida. He's a tough,
gritty player who isn't afraid to throw his body around to try
to get the tough yards, and he's great in the system. He should
be among the nation's most efficient passers and on the preseason
Big Ten Player of the Year short list.
- Jason Manson, Sr. - 24-48, 50%, 230 yds, 1 INT, 11
carries, 54 yds
Likely to spend most of his time at receiver,
Manson is strictly a mop-up emergency option behind Drew Tate.
He has a live arm and is far more mobile than Tate. Thrown into
the fire in the loss to Iowa State, he struggled completing only
ten of 31 passes in the loss. However, he has enough practice
experience to step in and be fine.
- Jake Christensen, RFr.
Considered the star of the future, Christensen was a one of the
team's top recruits last season and will be groomed for the 2007
starting job. He isn't all that big, but he has a great arm
along with decent mobility. With Jason Manson seeing time at
receiver, Christensen will look to step up into the number two
The running game bounced back in
a big way after the nightmare of 2004 when every available back
got hurt. Albert Young got healthy and developed into one of the
Big Ten's most productive backs both as a runner and a receiver.
He has help to carry the workload with speedy Damian Sims and
powerful sophomore Shonn Green good enough to each carry it at
least 5-7 times a game. Redshirt freshman Dana Brown should see
some carries if he can prove he can hang on to the ball. The fullbacks have mostly been blockers
in recent seasons, but that'll likely change with Tom Busch, Champ Davis, and newcomer Kalvin Bailey
all certain to be involved more.
The key to the unit: Get another big year of
production out of Albert Young while keeping him fresh and
healthy by getting Damian Sims and Shonn Greene a significant
number of carries.
Running Back Rating: 9
- Albert Young, Jr. - 249 carries, 1,334 yds, 5.4 ypc, 8
TD, 24 catches, 244 yds, 10.2 ypc
One of the nation's top unsung rushers, Young returned from a
leg injury that cost him all of 2004 to run for eight 100-yard
games while rushing for 1,002 yards in Iowa's eight Big Ten
games. He blends decent power with tremendous speed and great
hands. He has the ability to tear off yards in chunks, but his
longest run last season was only 36 yards. Expect that to change. The
scary part is that he's even faster after being a year removed from
- Fullback Tom Busch, Jr. - 9 carries, 31 yds, 3.4 ypc, 4
catches, 29 yds
A pure blocker last season, the 231-pound junior has the skills
to be used more as a power back as well as a receiver. He'll
pave the way for the Hawkeye tailbacks and should grow into more
of a playmaker as the season goes on.
- Damian Sims, Jr. - 30 carries, 296 yd,s 9.9 ypc, 4 TD, 3
catches, 30 yds, 10 ypc
Sims might not have seen many carries, but he made the most of
his opportunities highlighted by a 71-yard touchdown run against
Minnesota. He's a quick little scat back who's great at making
defenders miss, and now he needs to get the ball more in the
- Shonn Greene, Soph. - 37 carries, 173 yds, 4.7 ypc, 1
Greene saw most of his action as a true freshman in the opening
day blowout over Ball State rushing for 116 yards. He's the
power runner in the attack at 5-11 and 210 pounds adding more of
a between-the-tackles option than Albert Young and Damian Sims.
He has the hands to be used as a receiver even though he didn't
catch a pass last season.
- Fullback Champ Davis, Sr. - 1 carry, 10 yds, 8 catches,
58 yds, 7.2 ypc, 1 TD
The 6-2, 238-pound senior is a physical blocker and a
surprisingly dangerous receiver. He won't run the ball much and
will have to fight off Kalvin Bailey for the number two job, but
he's too experienced not to be part of the mix.
There's not a lot of experience after losing
Clinton Solomon and Ed Hinkel, but there's a whole bunch of
speed. Calvin Davis, Andy Brodell and Herb Grigsby can move,
really move, and Eric McCollum is a promising possession
receiver. The tight end situation is fantastic with three who
are good enough to start. 6-7 Scott Chandler will be one of the
Big Ten's top receiving tight ends, Ryan Majerus is a reliable
veteran, and Tony Moeaki has the potential to be the best of the
The key to the unit: Hope for the speed to turn into
production with at least two wide receivers becoming reliable
targets to complement the tight ends.
Receiver Rating: 7
- Calvin Davis, Sr. - 8 catches, 79 yds, 9.9 ypc
Davis was an
Iowa high school track star winning the state title with a 10.73
100-meter dash and set records in the 200 and 400. Now he's
expected to bring that speed at split end taking over Clinton
Solomon's old spot where he needs to become a consistent deep
threat right off the bat.
- Herb Grigsby, Jr. - 25 catches, 335 yds, 13.4 ypc, 3 TD
Grigsby finally got in the mix after missing most of his
sophomore season and ended up seeing starting time after Ed
Hinkel broke his arm. Now he appeared to be the number one
target. He finished the season as the fourth
leading receiver catching 18 of his 25 passes over the final
five games. He can also be used as a kick returner.
- Tight end Scott Chandler, Sr. - 47 catches, 552 yds,
11.7 ypc, 2 TD
Chandler became the team's leading receiver and should once
again be one of Drew Tate's top targets. The former wide
receiver has terrific hands and great size at 6-7 and 257
pounds. While he's not the most dominant blocker around, he's
good enough to not be a liability appearing to be improved this
spring. With his size and skills, he
could develop into a more dangerous goal line target.
- Andy Brodell, Soph. - 6 catches, 69 yds, 11.5 ypc
There's speed in the Iowa receiving corps, and Brodell might be
the fastest of the bunch after running a 10.4 100-meter dash and
tore off a 21.4 in the 200. He's not just fast, he's big at 6-3
and 193 pounds at split end. His one big day came at
Northwestern with four grabs for 46 yards.
- Eric McCollom, Jr. - 2 catches, 19 yds, 9.5 ypc
Part receiver and part quarterback, the sophomore caught two
passes in the opening day blowout and didn't see the ball from
then on. He's a smart, athletic inside receiver who brings more
size than Herb Grigsby.
- Tight end Tony Moeaki, Soph. - 8 catches, 112 yds, 14
He'll be one of the stars in the passing attack soon. While not
huge at 6-4 and 250 pounds, he's a fantastic receiver and tough
enough to grow into a strong blocker.
- Tight end Ryan Majerus, Sr. - 10 catches, 95 yds, 9.5
ypc, 2 TD
A starter just about anywhere else, the 6-3 senior is a steady,
midrange receiver. The former linebacker is the third man in the
mix but will still see plenty of passes his way. He'll also see
work on special teams.
There are enough good veterans to allow several talented
young players to grow into their roles. There are also enough versatile
linemen to come up with several combinations and adjust on the fly if
injuries hit. Mike Elgin has been a good guard and now will be the
quarterback of the line at center, Marshal Yanda can play either guard
or tackle and will start out on the outside, and Mike Jones will an
all-star at left guard. Dace Richardson is a rising star at left tackle
while the return of Lee Gray and the emergence of Dan Doering provides
The key to the unit: The reserves need to quickly
develop to allow for a good rotation as the season goes on. Over the
first half of the year the line needs to stay healthy and intact so they
all can get used to their roles.
Offensive Line Rating: 8
- OT Dace Richardson, Soph.
The 6-6, 306-pound sophomore saw time as a true freshman showing the
potential to grow into an All-Big Ten performer at left tackle if he can
be far better in pass protection. He's not
just big, he's athletic, but he has to be stronger than he was in spring
- OG Mike Jones, Sr.
Able to play tackle or guard, the 302-pound senior started last season
at both tackle spots before settling in at left guard where he'll stay
... for now. He's an All-Big Ten caliber blocker no matter where he
- C Mike Elgin, Sr.
Elgin is an academic All-American who became an all-star caliber
performer at guard. Now he'll move to center where he should once again
be one of the best technicians on the line. He beefed up to 288 pounds
and should be even more physical.
- OG Seth Olsen, Soph.
Olsen got one starting assignment at tackle before spending the rest of
the season as a reserve guard. He's 301 pounds and a mauling run blocker
who should grow into a rock on the right side.
- OT Marshal Yanda, Sr.
The JUCO All-American turned into a reliable starter at both right
tackle and left guard. He's leaner and quicker and should be even more
productive at right tackle
- OT Lee Gray, Sr.
The former defensive lineman was growing into a star on the offensive
line before getting knocked out with a knee injury in 2005 preseason
practice. He's a fast 6-6 and 320 pounds and finally appears ready to
get back in the mix at one of the tackle spots.
- OT Dan Doering, RFr.
One of the team's most talented prospects, the 6-7, 290-pound redshirt
freshman still has room on his frame for another 15 pounds without
looking heavy. He'll someday be an All-Big Ten performer but will start
out behind Marshal Yanda on the right side.