NCF Nation: Josh Koeppel

If you've seen the video of Josh Koeppel's motorcycle crash, you can agree the Iowa senior center is one very lucky man.

Koeppel miraculously walked away from the accident last Monday and avoided serious injury after being struck by a pickup truck on his way to class. He sat out Saturday's opener against Eastern Illinois but is listed as the No. 2 center on the depth chart for the Iowa State game.

Simply amazing.

Koeppel's story has attracted national attention, and he'll appear Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show to talk about it. His interview with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira is scheduled to air between 7:30-8 a.m. ET.

It'll be interesting to see what Koeppel has to say about his good fortune and getting back on the football field.
Welcome to National Depth Chart Day. No day on the college football calendar inspires more curiosity about depth charts than the Monday before the season, when most teams release their Week 1 two-deeps.

(And then there's Purdue, which didn't include a depth chart in its game notes for Notre Dame. Ugh.)

I've had the chance to review depth charts from those programs that released them today -- two-deeps from Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota are coming soon -- and I checked in on several coaches' news conferences.

Here's what stood out:

  • Even though Indiana will shift to a 3-4 defensive alignment this year, the depth chart lists a 4-3 with Darius Johnson and Fred Jones as the starting ends and Chad Sherer and Tyler Replogle flanking junior college transfer Jeff Thomas at linebacker.
  • Interesting to see several veteran offensive linemen like Justin Pagan and Cody Faulkner listed as backups rather than starters. Junior Andrew McDonald steps into some big shoes at left tackle as Rodger Saffold departs to the NFL.
  • The backup quarterback job remains open, as Dusty Kiel and Edward Wright-Baker are both listed as No. 2 behind Ben Chappell.
  • Indiana expects big things from redshirt freshman Duwyce Wilson, listed as a starter at wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.
  • Sophomores Micah Hyde and Greg Castillo are listed as the starting cornerbacks. Shaun Prater doesn't appear on the depth chart after dealing with a leg injury in camp. Prater hasn't been officially ruled out for the Eastern Illinois game, but I wouldn't expect to see much of him on Saturday.
  • James Ferentz is listed as the starting center, a spot where Iowa might be a little thin following Josh Koeppel's motorcycle accident Monday morning.
  • Starting defensive end Broderick Binns is suspended for the opener, so Christian Ballard is listed as a possible starter at both end and tackle. Mike Daniels and Lebron Daniel are the next options behind Ballard.
  • Sophomores Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier and freshman Devin Gardner are listed as co-starters at quarterback. Head coach Rich Rodriguez reiterated Monday that Gardner won't redshirt this fall.
  • Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw are listed as co-starters at running back, with Michael Cox behind them.
  • True freshman Carvin Johnson is listed as the starter at the spur position (safety/linebacker). Pretty big surprise here, and a testament to Johnson's work in camp.
  • Senior James Rogers steps into Troy Woolfolk's starting cornerback spot opposite J.T. Floyd.
  • Receivers Martavious Odoms and Kelvin Grady clearly showed enough in camp to be listed as starters or possible starters against Connecticut.
  • Sophomore running back Arby Fields returned to practice Monday and wore a no-contact jersey after being sidelined with a shoulder problem. He's listed as a co-starter at running back with Jacob Schmidt and Stephen Simmons. Northwestern wanted a clear No. 1 running back to emerge in camp, but Fields' injury changed the plan.
  • Junior Bryce McNaul is listed as the third top linebacker alongside returning starters Quentin Davie and Nate Williams. McNaul won the job in camp.
  • Venric Mark is the only true freshman listed on the depth chart, both as a backup wide receiver and a co-starter at punt returner. I'll go out on a huge limb (sarcasm) and predict Mark will be the man on returns for the Wildcats very shortly.
  • Junior defensive end Nathan Williams, a projected starter, will miss the Marshall game with a knee injury. He should be back shortly thereafter. Solomon Thomas will start in Williams' spot Thursday night.
  • Starting cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) is questionable for the Marshall game, but corner Devon Torrence (hamstring) should be fine.
  • Sophomore C.J. Barnett's strong performance in camp lifted him ahead of Orhian Johnson on the Week 1 depth chart. Johnson missed a chunk of camp with an injury.
  • Start salivating, Buckeyes fans, because running backs Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry likely will handle kickoff returns against Marshall.
  • Sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin and freshman Robert Bolden are listed as co-starters at quarterback for the Youngstown State game.
  • Sophomore Devon Smith's strong camp landed him a starting spot at both receiver and kick returner, and a backup role on punt returns.
  • Redshirt freshman Garry Gilliam is listed as the starting tight end, as Andrew Szczerba likely will miss the opener with a back injury. Penn State obviously is thin here after losing Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler.
  • Veterans Nate Stupar, Chris Colasanti and Bani Gbadyu are listed as the starting linebackers, with promising younger players like Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges right behind them.
  • After a very impressive camp, freshman running back James White appears at No. 3 on the depth chart behind both John Clay and Montee Ball. White also is the No. 2 punt returner behind David Gilreath. His emergence likely will result in veteran Zach Brown redshirting the season.
  • Senior Blake Sorensen likely will start at outside linebacker, as Mike Taylor continues to rehab after undergoing a second procedure on his knee in camp. Culmer St. Jean and Chris Borland are listed as the other starting linebackers.
  • The starting cornerback spots remain open, as Niles Brinkley, Antonio Fenelus and Devin Smith will compete in practice this week.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- From the name on the back of his jersey to his obvious physical resemblance to Iowa's head coach, it's obvious that James Ferentz isn't like the rest of his Hawkeyes teammates.

Ferentz received a harsh reminder of this fact in April, when he and two teammates were arrested for public intoxication. It marked the second alcohol-related citation for Ferentz, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes.

While both indiscretions were fairly minor, the arrest of head coach Kirk Ferentz's youngest son generated a great deal of local and regional media attention.

After being suspended for spring ball, Ferentz is back on the field for the start of Iowa's preseason camp. He will be suspended for Iowa's season opener against Northern Iowa.

"I just need to be smarter and make better decisions," James Ferentz said. "I learned a lot about myself this past season. I didn't make wise decisions. Now it's time to just get ready and get going for the season."

Kirk Ferentz expressed frustration about the attention his son's arrest received, but James said he knew the spotlight would be on him when he signed with Iowa. 

"I made a mistake," he said, "but at the same time, I still think I'm in the right place and with the right people."

Ferentz, who was listed as the team's second-string center before spring practice, will compete for time alongside Rafael Eubanks and Josh Koeppel. Iowa loses starting center Rob Bruggeman, a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

After a trying offseason, Ferentz jumps at the chance to contribute on the field this fall.

"This is the one thing in my life that I really love and enjoy doing every day," he said. "It doesn't really matter where I'm at or what my position is on the team. I'm just excited to be a part of it."