Iowa’s sports information department has uploaded a new Hawkeye football roster, and with its unveiling came some summer minutiae to chew on:
Ryan Boyle is officially listed at wide receiver now. That’s new. The former Dowling Catholic star transitioned from quarterback to receiver in the final week of spring practice as an experiment, and he raked in two catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in the spring game.
It would not be a surprise if the move becomes permanent; Boyle is an extremely gifted, fast, powerful athlete, and receiver depth is probably near the top of Iowa's list of priorities in summer camp. He will also likely appear on special teams. With four-star quarterback prospect Nathan Stanley on campus now and Tyler Wiegers and Drew Cook also in the backup mix to starter C.J. Beathard, Boyle’s best chance to be an impact player for the Hawkeyes is lining up out wide.
“When the grind of camp starts, that’s going to be the true test for him,” receivers coach Bobby Kennedy said during a Hawk Central radio show earlier this summer. “Can he do it on a daily basis?”
Brant Gressel is no longer on the roster. The defensive tackle from Centerville, Ohio, never cracked Iowa’s two-deep after joining the program in the Class of 2013. Gressel is the the ninth known scholarship athlete to depart the program since January. The others: running back Eric Graham; wide receiver Andre Harris, defensive end Terrence Harris, linebacker Justin Jinning, tight end Jameer Outsey and defensive backs Lance Billings, Maurice Fleming (graduate-transfer to West Virginia) and Omar Truitt.
Among that group, only Fleming and Outsey were 2015 contributors.
Matt Nelson isn’t getting any smaller. The behemoth defensive end from Cedar Rapids, expected to be a starter opposite Parker Hesse, has upped his weight to 282 pounds on his huge 6-foot-8 frame. The redshirt sophomore was at 275 in the spring.
The weight of Akrum Wadley has been a persistent issue. So it’s notable that Iowa's No. 2 running back is listed at 191 pounds. He was hovering in the 182 range last season. Whether he hits that weight regularly is another question, but 191 (up from a listed 190 in the spring) is consistent with strength coach Chris Doyle’s belief that a player has the ability to add one pound a month. Wadley’s extra girth was noticeable in the spring game, and he could be a dynamic piece on the 2016 roster.
Joshua Jackson was impressive in the spring as a defensive back, despite wearing a red no-contact jersey while recovering from injury. The redshirt sophomore was listed at wide receiver on the new roster, but that’s a typo. He’s still in the secondary, where Iowa will likely use him as a nickelback to join starting seniors Desmond King and Greg Mabin. Special teams coach Chris White also said on Hawk Central’s radio show that Jackson has been dazzling as a kick returner.
Starting strong safety Miles Taylor’s height has gone from 5-11 to 6-0. He’s still at 205 pounds.
Ronald Nash, a walk-on receiver who has impressive size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), has switched his jersey to No. 21 — Jinning’s old number — from No. 5.
True freshmen’s listed positions and jersey numbers are as follows: quarterback Nathan Stanley (4), defensive back Manny Rugamba (5), defensive back Cedric Boswell (20), running back Toks Akinribade (22), defensive back Amani Hooker (27), running back Toren Young (28), linebacker Kristian Welch (34), linebacker Barrington Wade (35), tight end T.J. Hockenson (38), tight end Shaun Beyer (42), linebacker Nick Niemann (49), linebacker Amani Jones (52), linebacker Kyle Taylor (55), defensive end Chauncey Golston (57), offensive lineman Cole Banwart (61), offensive lineman Spencer Williams (63), defensive end Austin Schulte (74), offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (77), wide receiver Devonte Young (80), tight end Noah Fant (87), defensive end Brandon Simon (93), defensive end Cedrick Lattimore (95) and defensive end Romeo McKnight (97).
Grad-transfer punter Ron Coluzzi from Central Michigan is 5-11, 182 and will wear No. 98.
There will likely be more Hawkeye roster news in a few weeks when media guides, including a new depth chart, are distributed at the Big Ten Conference media days July 25-26 in Chicago.