The Iowa football roster has had it’s share of makeovers to get to this point in time. I’d like to think most of the changes are accounted for an everyone we expect to report to camp in August actually makes it there.

If history is any indicator, that’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t expect too much tumult between now and the start of camp.

Below, you will find a graphic that lays out Iowa’s expect 2012 roster by position as it relates to scholarship players.

I have taken the past five recruiting classes, as you will have players from five classes on campus at any point in time. The recently signed 2012 class is listed, as are the 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 classes. Just two players from that 2008 class will not be factored in due to either expired eligibility or choosing to leave early; Shaun Prater and Riley Reiff.

First the data and then the discussion. Email me at [email protected] if anything seems out of sorts and I will look into it. You can also access the data in at this link, which will let you see comments related to each one of the program’s defections from the last five recruiting classes.

(Quick Note: I moved players to their ‘at Iowa’ positions for those who enrolled and spent time in the program. For instance Scott Covert started at defensive line and moved to fullback before leaving Iowa; I put him in the running backs grouping as that is what he was at the time of his departure)

Over the past five recruiting classes, Iowa has signed 113 players. 29 of those players are no longer with the program for a number of reasons, including four players never making it to Iowa due to grades; Rodney Coe, Stephane Ngoumou, Khalif Statten and David Blackwell.

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That’s an attrition rate of more than 1 in 4.

43 players signed with Iowa in their lightly regarded (by the recruiting services) 2008 & 2009 classes. Of those 43 players, just 25 will suit up for Iowa in 2012. Those are the 5th year senior and 4th year junior classes. Those are your upper classmen, players who typically are the leaders of your program. For Iowa, 42 percent of the players from those classes are no longer with the program. Of the 18 no longer around, 8 were on defense and 10 were on offense.

You hate to sit around on February 13th and realize your favorite football team has some pretty big challenge to overcome in its coming season, but that’s the reality for the 2012 Hawkeyes. Next year’s team will have some upper class leaders, but likely not enough of them. Some younger players will step into leadership roles and will see a lot of playing time, a fact that bodes well for 2013 & 2014, but the program is likely going to take a few more lumps next year before they start delivering those lumps 19 months from now.

Here is further evidence to support that assumption; Iowa will have 82 recruited athletes on their rosters in 2012, at least at this point in time. That’s 82 players who were awarded scholarships coming out of high school. This does not include walkons. Of those 82, 43 of them (or 52.4% of the scholarship roster) will be members of the most recent two recruiting classes. 42 of those 43 will be first or second year players, not counting Juco QB Cody Sokol in that mix as he will be a ‘third year in college’ player with three years to play two. Juco OL Eric Simmons will have four years to play three and the coming year will be his second year in college.

I don’t have comparative roster data to examine to see how this lines up with other programs, and most programs are likely heavy in the bottom two classes due to normal attrition factors, but this seems like a very high number that Iowa is carrying compared to the rest of their scholarship roster.

Eight of the 29 players who either didn’t make it into the program, transfered or were dismissed were running backs. Given that Iowa had 17 total scholarship backs (including fullbacks), that is an attrition rate of 47 percent.

The most ‘steady’ positions for Iowa, the positions that have seen the least amount of attrition, have been offensive line and linebacker. Each position has a total of 17 but just two not making it all the way.

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This may be an unfair generalization, but I think it bodes well for the program going forward that the two coaches who have overseen those positions (Darrell Wilson with linebackers and Reese Morgan with the offensive line) are still with the program and have been reassigned to different position groups. Wilson is now the defensive backs coach and Morgan is the defensive line coach.

I do believe some of the defensive line attrition Iowa has seen in recent years is attributable to Rick Kascenski’s ‘in your face’ style. He left the Iowa program in December and is now with Nebraska.

I think it’s a little more challenging to apply the same line of thought to Iowa’s running back position, as the majority of the defections have either been borne out of off field decisions/disciplinary instances or depth chart considerations.

What does the data suggest to you? Does it adjust your thinking related to the 2012 season? What stands out? I’d like to hear your thoughts.