CHICAGO, Ill. – Third-year sophomore Jay Scheel has pulled even with Jerminic Smith in the race to be Iowa’s starting split end.
Scheel, who has zero career catches, has climbed to the co-No. 1 line at split end with Smith, who is a true sophomore. They’re competing to replace Tevaun Smith, who used up his eligibility last season.
Jerminic Smith was listed as the lone starter throughout spring practice, with Scheel as his backup.
Iowa released its 2016 football media guide on Monday in conjunction with Big Ten Media Day, which is being held Monday and Tuesday in Chicago.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz praised Scheel in the media guide, saying he expects Scheel to make an impact this season.
“He has been fighting (knee) injuries from his high school days; it’s been a long road for him,” Ferentz said in the media guide. “At the end of bowl prep in December, we saw him moving around like we remembered him from high school.
“He looks to be healthy; he works hard and has a great attitude. It would not surprise me to see him ascend this year and start to take off; that would be great for the team as well.”
In other depth news, junior Sean Welsh is listed as the starting center, while sophomore James Daniels is listed for the first time as the starter at right guard. Daniels did not participate in spring practice because of a knee injury.
Welsh has combined to start 23 games over the past two seasons, including 21 at guard. He moved to center in the spring as Iowa looks to replace former all-Big Ten center Austin Blythe.
Dubuque native Lucas LeGrand, a redshirt sophomore, has moved into the backup role behind left guard Boone Myers, replacing fifth-year senior Ryan Ward.
Walk-on junior Peter Pekar and junior scholarship player Jon Wisnieksi are on the depth together for the first time as the co. No. 2 tight ends behind senior George Kittle.
Two-year starter Greg Mabin also has returned to the top spot at left cornerback.
Mabin missed spring practice due to a shoulder injury.
Junior Bo Bower also has returned to a backup role at linebacker behind Ben Niemann. Bower was listed as the starter during spring practice while Niemann recovered from an injury.
Ferentz and senior quarterback C.J. Beathard, senior cornerback Desmond King and junior linebacker Josey Jewell will represent Iowa at Big Ten Media Day on Tuesday in Chicago.
IOWA’S 2016 DEPTH CHART
SE: Jerminic Smith (6-1, 187, soph.) OR Jay Scheel (6-1, 195, soph.)
LT: Cole Croston (6-5, 307, sr.); Brett Waetcher (6-5, 290, frosh.)
LG: Boone Myers (6-5, 305, jr.); Lucas LeGrand (6-5, 290, soph.)
C: Sean Welsh (6-3, 290, jr.); Steve Ferentz (6-2, 282, sr.)
RG: James Daniels (6-4, 295, soph.); Keegan Render (6-4, 308, soph.)
RT: Ike Boettger (6-6, 307, jr.); Dalton Ferguson (6-4, 310, soph.)
TE: George Kittle (6-4, 250, sr.); Peter Pekar (6-4, 250, jr.) OR Jon Wisnieski (6-5, 250, jr.)
WR: Matt VandeBerg (6-1, 190, sr.); Jonathan Parker (5-8, 188, jr.)
WR: Riley McCarron (5-9, 186, sr.); Adrian Falconer (6-1, 190, soph.)
QB: C.J. Beathard (6-2, 215, sr.); Tyler Wiegers (6-4, 225, soph.)
RB: LeShun Daniels Jr. (6-0, 225, sr.); Akrum Wadley (5-11, 191, jr.)
FB: Drake Kulick (6-1, 236, jr.); Brady Ross (6-1, 240, fr.)
PK: Miguel Recinos (6-1, 190, soph.); Mick Ellis (5-10, 190, soph.)
LE: Matt Nelson (6-8, 282, soph.); Sam Brincks (6-5, 270, soph.)
LT: Jaleel Johnson (6-4, 310, sr.); Faith Ekakitie (6-3, 290, sr.)
RT: Nathan Bazata (6-2, 285, jr.); Jake Hulett (6-3, 285, jr.)
RE: Parker Hesse (6-3, 250, soph.); Anthony Nelson (6-7, 253, fr.)
OLB: Ben Niemann (6-3, 230, jr.); Bo Bower (6-1, 235, jr.)
MLB: Josey Jewell (6-2, 235, jr.); Angelo Garbutt (6-2, 230, fr.)
WLB: Aaron Mends (6-0, 223, soph.); Jack Hockaday (6-1, 227, soph.)
LC: Greg Mabin (6-2, 200, sr.); Michael Ojemudia (6-2, 190, fr.)
SS: Miles Taylor (5-11, 205, jr.); Anthony Gair (6-2, 210, sr.)
FS: Brandon Snyder (6-1, 210, soph.); Jake Gervase (6-1, 210, soph.)
RC: Desmond King (5-11, 203, sr.); Josh Jackson (6-1, 185, soph.)
P: Colten Rastetter (6-2, 205, fr.); Miguel Recinos (6-1, 190, soph.)