Iowa City, Ia. — Iowa’s seven-on-seven football drills start Wednesday.
Seven offensive players, featuring the quarterback and receivers, vs. defenders trying to stop passes.
May the best Hawk win.
“I can’t wait to get back out there,” said Marvin McNutt, expected to be the Hawkeyes’ featured receiver during a season that opens Sept. 3 against Tennessee Tech at Kinnick Stadium.
“I’m looking forward to a good time.”
He can’t contain his enthusiasm after missing spring ball while recovering from shoulder and thumb surgeries.
“Tell everyone I’m healthy again,” the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder said. “There’s nothing holding me back.”
Not even Shaun Prater, expected to be one of the top ball-hawking defensive backs in the Big Ten Conference, will contain McNutt — starting Wednesday.
“Seven-on-seven. Good times,” Prater said during an interview session with players Tuesday afternoon. “Me and Marvin battling again.”
McNutt wasn’t slated for heavy duty during the spring, even if he would have been healthy. A guy with 88 career receptions and 16 touchdowns has little to prove.
“I’m fine,” he said. “No problems. I made the decision to come back, and I’m going to do everything I can to have a great season.”
McNutt discussed with his family entering the NFL draft after last season, and they mulled it over until a few days before the league’s early-entry deadline.
“Went down to the wire,” McNutt said. “It was really that close.”
His decision to return for another college season dealt mainly with uncertainty about the round in which he would be drafted.
“What I found out wasn’t what I wanted, so I decided to come back to school,” he said, decling to share what NFL advisers said about his projected draft stock. “I made the right decision.”
Now, he becomes new quarterback James Vandenberg’s top target — and a marked man on chalkboards of opponents trying to figure out ways to stop him.
“What if they triple-team me? Then Keenan Davis should definitely be open,” McNutt said of the former Cedar Rapids Washington star.
That could start today when receivers battle defenders — when McNutt knocks off the rust after undergoing surgeries.
“Honestly, I totally forgot that he got injured. He came back so quick,” Prater said.
“He’s been catching balls and lifting weights like he’s been 100 percent his whole life.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football