Sports Illustrated has him as the first player taken in 2018. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has him as his top player in the country as. Look across the ‘way to early’ mock landscape, and the name Josh Allen of Wyoming is presumably at the top of near all of them. And, after a Summer of Heisman hype in Laramie, the college and NFL viewing eyes will be locked onto Kinnick Stadium.
Nearly four months from kickoff, it may be a tad bit early to break down potential matchups, and see how Hawkeyes defensive coordinator Phil Parker will try to hopefully stifle Allen, but it is one of the more exciting openers for the Hawks in quite some time.
When looking at the opponents that Iowa opens their seasons with it is filled with FCS and MAC opponents. Lessons were certainly learned in Ferentz’ first two seasons opening against top five opponents in Nebraska and Kansas State, and getting throttled in the early Kirk days. Since those first two seasons, the Hawkeyes are 15-1 in openers, the lone blemish was against the pesky Jordan Lynch Huskies of Northern Illinois who went on to a 12-2 season.
Memories for Hawkeye fans when kickoff for the game against the Cowboys nears will immediately recall to the games against top NFL prospect Ben Roethlisberger when he visited Iowa City. ‘Big Ben’ ran into some of the best Norm Parker defenses, ever, and in the end Iowa sent the five-time Pro Bowler back to Oxford as the loser.
Could this be the most exciting opener in years for Iowa?
Expectations in May are tempered for the Hawkeyes who lost senior leadership under center in CJ Beathard, and on defense in Jaleel Johnson and Desmond King. But, they are led by three senior linebackers in Josey Jewell, Ben Niemann and Bo Bower amongst others returning this Fall.
Allen from the lips of draft experts can do it all. He is amongst Sam Darnold of USC and fellow ‘Josh’ Rosen of UCLA as the triumvirate of quarterbacks that can seemingly only regress their stock this season.
Add returning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson to the group, and the crop of QB’s is as strong as it has been in years.
Iowa currently is expressing that the starting quarterback job will be won in the summer with front runners Nathan Stanley and Tyler Wiegers. Can either go toe-to-toe with the top in the land with scouts and college football heads tuning in?
Well find out in only 121 days.