Who made the trip? Iowa's travel roster for opener at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — This belated Big Ten Conference football season is going to be filled with game-day roster surprises, given the stringent COVID-19 protocols put in place to give teams the best chance to safely play.
And particularly without any outside looks and limited preseason information revealed, it was interesting to see which players the Iowa football team brought for Saturday's opener at Purdue.
Travel rosters are limited to 74 players, the same as last season.
Iowa brought 74 in-uniform players to Ross-Ade Stadium. Here's the unofficial breakdown. Thanks to my friend, Tom Kakert of HawkeyeReport.com, for helping cross-check some names.
Spencer Petras (soph.), Alex Padilla (fr.), Deuce Hogan (fr.), Connor Kapisak (soph.)
Comment: The Hawkeyes are young but healthy at the game's most important position. Petras will be the first new starter for Iowa since Nate Stanley in 2017.
Running backs (5)
Tyler Goodson (soph.), Mekhi Sargent (sr.), Ivory Kelly-Martin (jr.), Shadrick Byrd (fr.), Gavin Williams (fr.).
Comment: Iowa is expected to lean on the top three; notable that Williams, the freshman from Dowling Catholic, made the cut.
Monte Pottebaum (soph.), Turner Pallisard (soph.), Colton Dinsdale (sr.).
Comment: A trio of walk-ons get the first crack at replacing longtime fullback Brady Ross.
Wide receivers (9)
Brandon Smith (sr.), Ihmir Smith-Marsette (sr.), Nico Ragaini (soph.) Tyrone Tracy Jr. (soph.), Charlie Jones (jr.), Max Cooper (sr.), Calvin Lockett (soph.), Alex Kritta (fr.), Jackson Ritter (fr.)
Comment: A few new names to know in Kritta (a walk-on from St. Charles, Illinois) and Ritter (a walk-on from Frankfort, Illinois). No Desmond Hutson, but the expected top five are here.
Tight ends (4)
Sam LaPorta (soph.), Shaun Beyer (sr.), Bryce Schulte (jr.), Luke Lachey (fr.)
Comment: Did not see redshirt freshman Josiah Miamen; Lachey
Offensive line (11)
Alaric Jackson (sr.), Cole Banwart (sr.), Tyler Linderbaum (soph.), Kyler Schott (jr.), Coy Cronk (sr.), Mark Kallenberger (jr.), Cody Ince (soph.), Justin Britt (fr.), Nick DeJong (fr.), Mason Richman (fr.), Tyler Elsbury (fr.)
Comment: Richman and Elsbury get the nods as true freshmen, certainly a positive sign for them. Iowa's starting offensive line was Jackson, Schott, Linderbaum, Banwart and Cronk. Jack Plumb did not make the trip.
Defensive line (12)
Chauncey Golston (sr.), Daviyon Nixon (jr.), Austin Schulte (sr.), Zach VanValkenburg (sr.), John Waggoner (soph.), Noah Shannon (soph.), Jack Heflin (sr.), Dallas Jacobus (sr.), Logan Lee (fr.), Joe Evans (soph.), Yahya Black (fr.), Deontae Craig (fr.)
Comment: Austin Schulte was a surprise absence during pregame warmups. He was a listed starter at defensive tackle.
Nick Niemann (sr.), Jestin Jacobs (fr.), Barrington Wade (sr.), Nick Anderson (sr.), Mike Timm (soph.), Josef Smith (fr.), Jay Higgins (fr.), Yahweh Jeudy (fr.)
Comment: Jack Campbell’s introduction as Iowa’s new man in the middle will have to wait; he is not playing in the Hawkeyes’ opener due to a non-COVID-19 illness. Seth Benson was out, too, but should return next week vs. Northwestern.
Defensive backs (12)
Matt Hankins (sr.), Riley Moss (jr.), Julius Brents (soph.), Jack Koerner (jr.), Kaevon Merriweather (soph.), Dane Belton (soph.), Sebastian Castro (fr.), Dallas Craddieth (soph.), Terry Roberts (soph.), Daraun McKinney (fr.), Quinn Schulte (fr.), Kyler Fisher (fr.)
Comment: McKinney was also working in reps as a punt returner.
LS Austin Spiewak (sr.), LS Liam Reardon (fr.), P Tory Taylor (fr.), P Ryan Gersonde (jr.), PK Keith Duncan (sr.), PK Caleb Shudak (sr.).
Comment: Internally, there's a lot of appreciation for the job Spiewak does with long snaps. Taylor, the rookie from Austrailia, is expected to be the first-team punter.
Hawkeyes columnist Chad Leistikow has covered sports for 26 years with The Des Moines Register, USA TODAY and Iowa City Press-Citizen. Follow @ChadLeistikow on Twitter.