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Hawkeye media day: LeShun Daniels, Rudock/Beathard, life after C.J.

[ 0 ] August 4, 2014 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Hawkeye columnist Rick Brown provides the five biggest talking points from Iowa football media day on Monday:

Depth at running back: The core of the running game rests in backs Mark Weisman, Jordan Canzeri, Damon Bullock and LeShun Daniels.

“We have four guys we can put in a game and have confidence in,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The challenge for us is to figure out what the smartest way is to use those guys. Hopefully we can keep them healthy and have four options each game. We have some young guys coming up, too (Akrum Wadley, Jonathan Parker).”

Ferentz hinted that resting Weisman, the workhorse, is in his plans.

“I think Mark’s a really good runner and a really good football player,” Ferentz said. “But it would be really better for us if we could have him fresh in the fourth quarter of every game, plus the fourth quarter of the season. We’ve got to be careful about that.”

LeShun Daniels is one of four running backs that could see ample playing time for coach Kirk Ferentz this fall. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

LeShun Daniels is one of four running backs that could see ample playing time for coach Kirk Ferentz this fall. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports

Light goes on: Senior Quinton Alston looks to replace James Morris at middle linebacker. Two springs ago, Ferentz wasn’t sure that was going to happen.

“I had some concern,” Ferentz said. “Just because he was doing OK. OK is not good enough for a guy who is going to be playing. But then two springs ago he just took off. To see that light come on, and see the switch flip, it’s fun.”

Expectations? Ferentz was asked to discuss the high expectations for his team.

“Expectations are either the sky is falling or we’re going to the top,” Ferentz said. “The truth us usually somewhere in between. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of questions.”

Speaking of questions: Linebacker, the kicking game, a long snapper, the secondary and depth at offensive line are among the questions Ferentz needs to answer in fall camp. One question is not about quarterback, where Jake Rudock returns with C.J. Beathard as his backup.

“Jake Rudock is our starter,” Ferentz said. “That is not a debatable position.”

Next man in: With C.J. Fiedorowicz now in the NFL, the role of Iowa’s starting tight end appears to be Ray Hamilton’s position to lose.

“Ray is a guy, in my opinion, that is probably better than we think maybe he is,” Ferentz said of the senior from Strongsville, Ohio. “Ray’s made some nice plays for us. He’s done some really good things and I think we’ve seen him grow last spring.”

Jake Duzey, Henry Krieger-Coble and George Kittle all saw action last season as well at tight end.

“It might be more committee work than one individual,” Ferentz said.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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