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Depth charts: Projected starters for No. 19 Iowa vs. Miami (Ohio)

Danny Lawhon
Hawk Central

The weight of expectation is tangible for this year's Iowa football team.

A three-year starting quarterback. A bona fide stud on the defensive front. A freshly eligible hometown hero. A wide-open Big Ten West.

Can the 19th-ranked Hawkeyes find their way back to Indianapolis in Kirk Ferentz's 21st season? That conference chase begins next week. But first, there's the Week 1 rust to knock off.

And Miami of Ohio is traveling to Kinnick Stadium for a 6:40 p.m. FS1 game that will be hopefully free of pulse-quickening moments for Iowa fans.

Here are the projected starters heading into the opener.

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Nate Stanley (6-foot-4, 243 pounds, senior)

Running back: Mekhi Sargent (5-11, 223, junior)

Tight end: Nate Wieting (6-4, 250, sr.)

Fullback: Brady Ross (6-0, 246, sr.)

Wide receiver: Brandon Smith (6-2, 218, jr.)

Wide receiver: Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, jr.)

Left tackle: Alaric Jackson (6-6, 320, jr.)

Left guard: Landan Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.)

Center: Tyler Linderbaum (6-3, 286, freshman)

Right guard: Levi Paulsen (6-5, 305, sr.) OR Cole Banwart (6-4, 300, jr.)

Right tackle: Tristan Wirfs (6-5, 322, jr.)

DEFENSE

Defensive end: Chauncey Golston (6-5, 270, jr.)

Defensive end: A.J. Epenesa (6-6, 280, jr.)

Defensive tackle: Cedrick Lattimore (6-3, 295, sr.)

Defensive tackle: Brady Reiff (6-3, 277, sr.)

Weak-side linebacker: Djimon Colbert (6-1, 235, sophomore)

Middle linebacker: Kristian Welch (6-3, 239, sr.)

Cash: Barrington Wade (6-1, 236, jr.)

Strong safety: Geno Stone (5-10, 210, jr.)

Free safety: Kaevon Merriweather (6-0, 210, soph.)

Cornerback: Michael Ojemudia (6-1, 200, sr.)

Cornerback: Matt Hankins (6-0, 185, jr.)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Caleb Shudak (5-8, 180, jr.) OR Keith Duncan (5-10, 180, jr.)

Punter: Michael Sleep-Dalton (6-0, 212, sr.)

Kickoff and punt returns: Ihmir Smith-Marsette (6-1, 183, jr.)

MORE IOWA HAWKEYES COVERAGE

MIAMI PROJECTED STARTERS

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Jackson Williamson (6-2, 201, soph.) OR A.J. Mayer (6-3, 226, fr.) OR Brett Gabbert (6-0, 207, fr.)

Running back: Jaylon Bester (5-8, 184, jr.) 

Tight end: Andrew Homer (6-6, 246, jr.)

Wide receiver: Luke Mayock (6-5, 229, sr.)

Wide receiver: Maurice Thomas (5-11, 179, sr.)

Wide receiver: Jack Sorenson (6-0, 192, jr.)

Left tackle: Tommy Doyle (6-8, 318, jr.)

Left guard: Pete Nank (6-5, 319, soph.)

Center: Danny Godlevske (6-3, 287, jr.)

Right guard: Jarrett LaRubbio (6-5, 310, sr.)

Right tackle: Matt Skibinski (6-5, 285, sr.)

DEFENSE

Defensive end: Dean Lemon (6-2, 250, sr.)

Defensive end: Kameron Butler (6-3, 252, soph.)

Defensive tackle: Isaac Hampton (6-0, 294, soph.)

Defensive tackle: Doug Costin (6-2, 295, sr.)

Linebacker: Myles Reid (6-1, 225, sr.)

Middle linebacker: Ryan McWood (6-1, 223, jr.)

Nickelback: Bart Baratti (6-1, 200, sr.)

Safety: Sterling Weatherford (6-4, 218, soph.)

Safety: Mike Brown (6-1, 210, jr.)

Cornerback: Emmanuel Rugamba (5-11, 190, jr.)

Cornerback: Travion Banks (5-11, 183, sr.)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Sam Loman (5-8, 205, sr.)

Punter: Kyle Kramer (6-3, 215, sr.)

Kickoff returns: Maurice Thomas (5-11, 179, sr.)

Punt returns: Jack Sorenson (6-0, 192, jr.)