The Iowa football team will need Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette to step up in 2019. See where Iowa’s WR corps ranks in the B1G West.
If there’s one area that the Iowa football team could be lacking this season, it will be in the wide receiver group. They received some good news when former Michigan and Iowa City native Oliver Martin decided to return home to play for the Hawkeyes, but unless he can find a loophole in the NCAA transfer rules, he won’t be suiting up for the Hawkeyes in 2019.
Iowa has not had a true number one wide receiver since Marvin McNutt surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in 2011. They will always be a run-first team but when they can get solid production from their receivers, it makes their offense that much more potent.
Looking ahead to 2019, Iowa will have junior wide receivers Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette as the two primary receivers. The duo each had 361 receiving yards a year ago in an offense that went through tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson, who both left Iowa early for the NFL.
The Hawks also lost junior college transfer Nick Easley to graduation and either Nico Ragaini or Tyrone Tracy Jr. will fill the slot receiver position. Beyond that is where the production starts to become unclear as redshirt freshman Calvin Lockett figures to be a regular in the box score. The Iowa offense will also feature junior Max Cooper and sophomore Henry Marchese.
Now that we know what Iowa’s wide receiver group will look like in 2019, let’s see how they stack up against the rest of the Big Ten West division.