IOWA CITY, Ia. — A linebacker loves a good defensive lineman in front of him, clogging things up at the line of scrimmage and forcing running backs into his wheelhouse.
So no one appreciates the progress of Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis more than linebacker Christian Kirksey.
“Expect big things from him this season,” Kirksey of Davis, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound junior-to-be. “I have so much faith in Big Carl.”
Davis was credited with three sacks and knocked down two passes during Iowa’s spring scrimmage Saturday before an estimated crowd of 16,500 at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who recently has seen Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard, Karl Klug and Mike Daniels go from his defensive line to the NFL, likes where Davis is headed.
“He clearly has taken a step this spring,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “He’s not there yet. But he’s certainly on the road.”
The offense, which went no-huddle all afternoon, beat the defense 61-37, using a scoring system that awarded points for things such as sacks, three-and-outs and turnovers, as well as touchdowns, field goals and plays of 20 yards or more.
Ferentz joked that the scoring system must have been devised by an offensive coach.
“I felt like we were in an (Arena Football League) game there at one point,” Ferentz said.
The improvement of Davis was just one of the positives Ferentz saw throughout 15 practices this spring.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth, more on an individual basis than a team thing,” Ferentz said.
On a day when all eyes were on the three-man quarterback race between Jake Rudock, Cody Sokol and C.J. Beathard, running back Jordan Canzeri showed he might be the kind of playmaker missing from last season’s offense.
Canzeri, who suffered a knee injury a spring ago and missed the 2012 season, had a nifty reverse-field run of 29 yards to set up one touchdown and also caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Beathard. He had 13 carries for 50 yards, and caught three passes for 56 yards.
“Hopefully I can make some good plays to help this team,” Canzeri said.
Also getting his first taste of things was freshman running back Michael Malloy, also coming back from a knee injury. Malloy, who got medical clearance Wednesday, had 12 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown.
“He’s a guy we’re intrigued with, too,” Ferentz said.
Rudock completed 16-of-27 passes for 160 yards. Sokol was 15-of-20 for 185 yards and a touchdown. Beathard was 11-of-19 for 187 yards and a touchdown.
Ferentz said he can’t envision a scenario where the starter won’t be determined until the week of the Aug. 31 opener against Northern Illinois.
“At some point you’ve got to get the team ready,” Ferentz said. “We’ll make the call when it’s appropriate.”
Those quarterbacks threw to a bevy of receivers, some of them trying to traction heading into the fall. One of them was Cameron Wilson, a redshirt freshman not on the two-deep roster. He had 10 catches for 133 yards.
“This was probably his best day out there,” Ferentz said.
Davis, who was saddled with two knee injuries, one surgery and a fear of making mistakes earlier in his career, keeps in touch with Daniels, now with the Green Bay Packers.
“He tells me, “You’ve got to work, no one is going to give it to you,’ ” Davis said.
Kirksey sees potential in Davis.
“He can be the next Adrian Clayborn, Christian Ballard or Karl Klug,” Kirksey said. “The potential is there. He’s working hard to master what he does.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football