IOWA CITY, Iowa - Nobody yet knows what spring football will look like in 2021. It's safe to assume it will be more rewarding than last year when it was wiped out by the pandemic.
Iowa worked through COVID-19 to play eight games in the fall. It's prepared to navigate on-field April workouts regardless of whether or not vaccines reach the program in time for it.
A developmental program like the Hawkeyes cherishes that time of year. With plenty of talent off to the NFL, they can use spring ball more than many.
Coaches will begin that exercise with an outline based off of a disjointed 2020. Student-athletes will be attempting to catch their attention before the season kicks off in late summer.
With that in mind, let's take a stab at a starting point. Here's what the pre-spring depth chart might look like for the offense:
QB1 - Spencer Petras - The third-year performer from Northern California improved his consistency as the unprecedented season advanced. Petras won six consecutive starts. He compiled three touchdowns and four interceptions through his first four contests but tossed six scores with just one pick during the final four outings.
QB2 - Alex Padilla/Deuce Hogan - Our information about this duo is limited as is the time they've had to develop. It's going to be a huge spring session for these guys. Can they close the gap on Petras? If it doesn't happen this offseason, they might not be able to overtake him until he finishes up his eligibility after the '22 campaign.
RB1 - TYLER GOODSON - The Georgia native performed well as a freshman and was even better this past fall when he earned all-conference honors. He's proven to be a tireless worker who trains throughout the offseason, which bodes well for raising the bar in '21. He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry in college.
RB2 - Ivory Kelly-Martin - With Mekhi Sargent moving on, opportunity presents itself for Kelly-Martin, who will be coming off late-season knee surgery. The Illinois native has starter skills and if healthy could be a strong complement to Goodson. Freshmen Gavin Williams and Leshon Williams (no relation) are the other scholarship ball carriers pending any more additions this offseason.
WR1 - Nico Ragaini - The slot man has hauled in 64 balls the last two seasons, including a team-high 46 in '19. He's well connected with Petras and has a knack for finding holes in the defense.
WR1 - Tyrone Tracy Jr. - The Indianapolis product could be poised for a breakout season, one that could include him in the conversation for all-conference honors. The talent is here. It's up to Petras and coordinator Brian Ferentz to get the ball in his hands to make plays.
WR2 - Charlie Jones - The former walk-on who started his career a Buffalo became a revelation in '19 with his exploits as a punt returner. He flashed skills at receiver when given the chance and appears to be in line for more work there.
WR2 - Desmond Hutson - At 6-3, 210, Hutson could fill the role of big-bodied, outside receiver occupied by Brandon Smith in recent years. Quavon Matthews, Diante Vines, Arland Bruce IV, Keagan Johnson and Brody Brecht are other scholarship guys working to crack the rotation.
TE1 - Sam LaPorta - The third-year man from Illinois has established himself as the top receiving threat at the position. He paced the Hawkeyes with 27 receptions (271 yards, 1 TD) in '20.
TE2 - Josiah Miamen - This spot could feature some of the most interesting competition on the team. Elijah Yelverton and Luke Lachey also will be pushing for playing time in their second seasons.
FB1 - Monte Pottebaum - The bruiser from Inwood (IA) West Lyon established himself as a first-year starter in '20 and contributed in a large way to Iowa's successful running attack.
FB2 - Turner Pallisard - The Hawkeyes leaned heavily on Pottebaum last fall but it might look to save some wear and tear on him by spreading out the playing time. Pallisard is a year better.
LT1 - Mark Kallenberger - The Bettendorf graduate has developed nicely and like Tracy Jr. is ready for his time to shine. He's a key component to this group.
LG1 - Cody Ince - A rotational piece the last two campaigns, the athletic Ince should have a leg up in pinning down a starting spot. Depth on the front could push him for playing time, however.
C1 - Tyler Lindberbaum - The Hawkeyes have the best center in the country.
RG1- Kyler Schott - Injuries have been Schott's enemy the last two seasons but he's produced when in the lineup.
RT1 - Jack Plumb - The Wisconsin product heads into Year 4 having steadily improved. He appears ready for the next step, which is starting, and should get the chance.
LT2 - Nick DeJong - The walk-on from Pella received game reps as a true freshman. Don't be surprised to see him in a rotation this season.
LG2 - Justin Britt - The Indianapolis native is one to watch. Like DeJong, he will be pushing for playing time in '21.
C2 - Josh Volk - Taking a stab here with an athletic second-year freshman from Cedar Rapids.
RG2 - Tyler Elsbury - Playing a hunch at this spot as well. Noah Fenske and Tyler Endres also will be competing for minutes inside.
RT2 - Mason Richman - He enrolled in college last January and impressed coaches enough during the season to land on the two-deep.
K1 - Caleb Shudak - He bided his time behind Keith Duncan and Miguel Recinos in recent years. Expect a seamless transition.
K2 - Lucas Amaya - The Wisconsin native enters his third season on campus. He'll be auditioning the top job in '22.