The Iowa receivers aren’t going to be chasing down any Jamacian sprinters.
“There’s no (Usain) Bolts out there, no,” Iowa receivers coach Erik Campbell said. “No track stars. But we have good speed.
“We’d like to get more. Right now it’s what we have, that’s what we’re going into the season with.”
Iowa hired former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis this winter. One thing the former Longhorn lamented in the spring was the lack of speed on the outside.
Senior quarterback James Vandenberg was asked last week about the chances the Hawkeyes would use the Texas bubble screen.
“Zero,” he said, then repeated, “Zero.”
“Those guys are track stars,” Vandenberg said. “One guy is literally in the Olympics. They were throwing bubble screens for a reason. They could run away from anybody.
“Some guys on Texas that can run with anybody in the nation. They found unique ways to get them the ball.”
The Hawkeye receivers are fast, but not that fast. But Davis and the other coaches are working on that.
“You can coach route schemes, you can coach coming out of breaks, but you can’t coach speed,” Davis said.
Davis praised returning receivers Keenan Davis (50 catches, 713 yards) and Kevonte Martin-Manley (30-323). Davis came to camp about 10-15 pounds lighter than a year ago.
“It was more weight than I could carry,” Keenan Davis said. “I think I feel faster.
“The first day of camp last year I couldn’t breathe. I was almost dying. Now I feel pretty good about myself.”
Coach Davis praised Martin-Manley for being in “unbelievable shape” and also had kind words for junior receiver Don Shumpert.
“Donald is a guy, we were playing him at a lot of different positions in the spring,” Davis said. “You can’t run as fast as your body will take you if your mind is slowing you down.
“All three of those guys we have come back … they are not even the same guys we went through spring with.”
Davis wanted his receiver leaner and meaner.
“Why don’t we have them lose weight?” Keenan Davis said.
“All the coaches agreed and it happened. And I feel great.”
In addition to the reformulated returners, Coach Davis said true freshmen Tevaun Smith (6-2, 190) and Maurice Fleming (6-0, 185) have impressed him early.
“Don’t anoint them yet,” Davis said. “The media loves to do that. We haven’t even tackled them yet, but they have good ability. We’re going to see if they can get in the mix this year.”
Perhaps the receivers can be fast enough.
“It doesn’t matter what your 40 time is, if you’re getting open, that’s what the quarterback wants,” Campbell said.
GETZ DONE: Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz revealed that junior linebacker Dakota Getz will take a medical redshirt this season.
Ferentz said Getz “may comeback and help in the program in some phase down the road,” but will work on being a student for now.
SLEEPER SUSPENDED: Senior defensive back Collin Sleeper got into trouble at the Insight Bowl and was sent home. Now he’ll miss at least two games this season.
Ferentz called it a “multi-game” suspension but didn’t clarify how many games Sleeper would miss.
Listed as the second-team strong safety after the spring, Sleeper had 14 tackles last season.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football