Iowa City – Returning 89 careers starts on the offensive line is something Hawkeye fans need to look forward to. Four starters from a year ago are back.
Any time a large number of starters are returning it is a positive, it just means more in Iowa City since that core group was voted the best offensive line in the country a year ago. The Jim Moore Award isn’t something taken lightly in Iowa, it means something.
There aren’t many things more important for this upcoming season than protecting the young or inexperienced quarterback, whoever that may be. All positions are important but none play a bigger role than the offensive line for the Hawkeyes. They set the tone for the run and pass games.
The staff will look different, in a good way, for the line this season. Brian Ferentz, who oversaw the line last year, is now steering the offense. Iowa picked up Tim Polasek from North Dakota State to pilot the offensive line.
Polasek’s offense, against Iowa last year, rushed for 239 yards in the upset victory at Kinnick. Only Penn State rushed for more yards against Iowa last year. Polasek has the right idea in how to operate a run heavy offense.
The better the line, the more often the running backs find the hole and the less often the quarterback will get hit. Both equal positives for an offense. New ideas on the offensive staff will only make the offense better.
Beyond the four returning starters, Iowa has five additional letter winners returning. The starters, Ike Boettger, James Daniels, Boone Meyers, and Sean Welsh, have an abundance of experience. Add Keegan Render, who started seven games, to the mix and you have Iowa front line.
After the five projected starters, Iowa has four additional letter winners returning. That doesn’t include 320 pound, redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson. He is easily the largest presence on the line.
Jackson likely won’t start. He will be the next man up following senior Boone Meyers. Jackson is a thing for the future and his presence will be felt when his number is called this year.
Thankfully, the offensive line is the easiest position group to predict. Simple answer is, they will be good.