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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Iowa spring wrap

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Iowa Hawkeyes
2008 overall record: 9-4

2008 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters

Offense: 6; Defense: 8; Special teams: 2

Top returners

QB Ricky Stanzi, LT Bryan Bulaga, RT Kyle Calloway, RB Jewel Hampton, LB Pat Angerer, LB A.J. Edds, CB Amari Spievey, DE Adrian Clayborn, S Tyler Sash, P Ryan Donahue

Key losses

RB Shonn Greene, TE Brandon Myers, G Seth Olsen, C Rob Bruggeman, DT Mitch King, DT Matt Kroul, CB Bradley Fletcher

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Shonn Greene (1,850 yds)
Passing: Ricky Stanzi* (1,956 yds)
Receiving: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (639 yds)
Tackles: Pat Angerer* (107)
Sacks: Mitch King (4)
Interceptions: Pat Angerer and Tyler Sash* (5)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 Northern Iowa
Sept. 12 at Iowa State
Sept. 19 Arizona
Sept. 26 at Penn State
Oct. 3 Arkansas State
Oct. 10 Michigan
Oct. 17 at Wisconsin
Oct. 24 at Michigan State
Oct. 31 Indiana
Nov. 7 Northwestern
Nov. 14 at Ohio State
Nov. 21 Minnesota

1. McNutt emerges -- After switching over from quarterback, Marvin McNutt could play a major role at wide receiver for the Hawkeyes this fall. McNutt moved to the top of the depth chart at wideout and can be a big target for quarterback Ricky Stanzi at 6-4 and 210 pounds. The sophomore impressed the coaches throughout the spring.

2. Stanzi's time -- Stanzi established himself as the starting quarterback last year, and he took steps this spring to become more of a leader. After rebounding from mistakes to make big plays against Penn State and other opponents, Stanzi showed greater consistency with his throws during spring practices. "He's obviously a more mature player than he was a year ago," head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

3. Sharp edges -- The spring further confirmed that Iowa will be very strong on the edges of both the offensive and defensive lines. Bryan Bulaga could be one of the nation's top left tackles in 2009, and he and Kyle Calloway form the Big Ten's top tackle combination. Iowa also will lean on defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard, who have taken on greater leadership roles.

Fall questions

1. No Shonn -- Record-settling running back Shonn Greene is a major loss for Iowa, and the coaches didn't get a full chance to evaluate his potential replacements this spring. Projected starter Jewel Hampton and third-stringer Jeff Brinson both missed some practice time with injuries. It will be interesting to see if Hampton establishes himself as the top back this summer, or whether Brinson or Paki O'Meara emerge.

2. Defensive tackle -- Four-year starters Mitch King and Matt Kroul might be bigger losses than Greene, and Iowa needs to build a rotation in the interior defensive line. Junior Karl Klug performed well in limited time last fall, but the Hawkeyes must identify more run stoppers.

3. DJK is MIA -- It was hardly a secret that leading receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos fell out of favor this spring. The man known as DJK must prove himself again to the coaching staff in preseason camp and show he can do more than make the flashy catch. Despite McNutt's emergence, the wide receiver position remains a bit iffy heading into the summer.