Two Paulsens starting at guard? Hawkeyes release depth chart for opening game

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

Twin brothers Landan and Levi Paulsen could be the starting guards when Iowa opens the 2019 football season Aug. 31 vs. Miami of Ohio.

The Hawkeyes released their first depth chart since July 18 on Friday, and it shows Landan as the starter at left guard and Levi Paulsen or Cole Banwart getting the nod at right guard. Banwart was seen in a walking boot at the football complex Tuesday, when he did not practice.

The Paulsens are fifth-year seniors from Moville.

The No. 19 Hawkeyes enter the season without clarity at the backup quarterback position or placekicker. Sophomore Peyton Mansell and freshman Spencer Petras have been battling to see who will get the call in the event that senior quarterback Nate Stanley has to come out of a game. They are both listed on the depth chart, separated by an "OR." Previously, only Mansell was listed as the backup.

At kicker, juniors Caleb Shudak and Keith Duncan each had strong August camps and the indication is that they could share those duties. That is how it is listed on the depth chart, as well.

Iowa offensive linemen Levi Paulsen, left, and Landan Paulsen joke around during Hawkeyes football media day, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, at the University of Iowa outdoor practice facility in Iowa City, Iowa.

Wide receiver Oliver Martin, a transfer from Michigan, is not listed on the depth chart as Iowa awaits word from the NCAA on whether he will be eligible to play this season. 

Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette are listed as the two starting wide receivers. Redshirt freshman Nico Ragaini and Tyrone Tracy Jr. are the backups, although it is more likely that the Hawkeyes will play three wide receivers much of the time. In its previous depth chart, Iowa listed three starting wideouts.

At tight end, senior Nate Wieting remains the starter but Drew Cook is now his primary backup instead of Shaun Beyer. All three are expected to play.

Redshirt freshman Turner Pallisard is now listed as Brady Ross's backup at fullback. That had been Joe Ludwig.

On defense, sophomore Kaevon Merriweather will get the nod to start at free safety, with sophomore Jack Koerner as his backup. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker said Tuesday that they were in a tight battle for that spot.

Senior Wes Dvorak is now the backup to Geno Stone at strong safety. Devonte Young was listed there last month.

Redshirt freshman D.J. Johnson is listed as the backup to Barrington Wade at the outside linebacker and "Cash" position, meaning he will likely get the nod whenever the Hawkeyes use their 4-2-5 defensive alignment. But he's also listed as the backup to left cornerback Michael Ojemudia, supplanting Julius Brents there.

And Arizona State transfer Michael Sleep-Dalton is listed as the starting punter, beating out two-year incumbent Colten Rastetter for that role.

Iowa football depth chart, opening game

As released Aug. 23:


WR: Brandon Smith (6-2, 218, Jr.), Tyrone Tracy Jr. (5-11, 200, RS Fr.)

TE: Nate Wieting (6-4, 250, RS Sr.), Drew Cook (6-5, 252, Sr.)

LT: Alaric Jackson (6-6, 320, RS Jr.), Mark Kallenberger (6-5, 291, RS Soph.)

LG: Landan Paulsen (6-5, 305, RS Sr.), Kyler Schott (6-2, 290, So.)

C: Tyler Linderbaum (6-3, 286, RS Fr.) Jeff Jenkins (6-3, 266, RS Fr.)

RG: Levi Paulsen (6-5, 305, RS Sr.) *or* Cole Banwart (6-4, 300, RS Jr.), Cody Ince (6-4, 287 RS Fr.)

RT: Tristan Wirfs (6-5, 322, Jr.), Jack Plumb (6-7, 272, RS Fr.)

WR: Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, Jr.), Nico Ragaini (6-0, 192, RS Fr.)

QB: Nate Stanley (6-4, 243, Sr.), Spencer Petras (6-5, 230 RS Fr.) *or* Peyton Mansell (6-2, 208, RS Soph.)

RB: Mekhi Sargent (5-9, 212, RS Jr.), Toren Young (5-11, 223, RS Jr.), Ivory Kelly-Martin (5-10, 203 Jr.)

FB: Brady Ross (6-0, 246, RS Sr.), Turner Pallisard (6-0, 242, RS Fr.)

PK: Caleb Shudak (5-8, 180, RS Jr.) *or* Keith Duncan (5-10, 180, RS Jr.)


LE: Chauncey Golston (6-5, 270, RS Jr.), John Waggoner (6-5, 270, RS Fr.)

LT: Cedrick Lattimore (6-3, 295, Sr.), Daviyon Nixon (6-3, 309, RS Soph.)

RT: Brady Reiff (6-3, 277, RS Sr.), Noah Shannon (6-0, 294, RS Fr.), Austin Schulte (6-4, 287, RS Jr.)

RE: A.J. Epenesa (6-6, 280, Jr.), Amani Jones (5-11, 244, Sr.), Zach VanValkenburg (6-4, 270 Jr.)

OLB/Cash: Barrington Wade (6-1, 236, RS Jr.), D.J. Johnson (5-10, 183, RS Fr.)

MLB: Kristian Welch (6-3, 239, Sr.), Dillon Doyle (6-3, 235, RS Fr.)

WLB: Djimon Colbert (6-1, 235, RS Soph.), Nick Niemann (6-4, 235, RS Jr.)

LC: Michael Ojemudia (6-1, 200, RS Sr.), D.J. Johnson (5-10, 183, RS Fr.)

SS: Geno Stone (5-10, 210, Jr.), Wes Dvorak (6-0, 200, Sr.)

FS: Kaevon Merriweather (6-0, 210, Soph.), Jack Koerner (6-0, 204, RS Soph.)

RC: Matt Hankins (6-0, 185, Jr.), Riley Moss (6-1, 191, Soph.)

P: Michael Sleep-Dalton (6-0, 212) Colten Rastetter (6-1, 213, RS Sr.)

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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