3. Can Kaevon Merriweather handle the free safety duties?
The Iowa football team will be replacing both starting safeties in 2019. Yes, Geno Stone played in 12 games last season but he primarily played at the free safety position. This year, he’ll be sliding over to strong safety and will try to replace the reigning Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in Amani Hooker.
Kaevon Merriweather has been listed on the early depth chart as the starting free safety, but has played in a limited capacity thus far. He was 1 of 12 true freshman to see action last season and played in 9 games. He recorded his one and only tackle in the opener against Northern Illinois in mop-up duty.
This season, he’ll be counted on as the starting free safety for a Hawkeye defense that should be ranked inside the top 10 again. The fact that he played in nine games last season was a good opportunity to get his nerves out of the way as he’ll need to be sharp at the top of this defense.
Merriweather came to Iowa as a 3-star recruit from Belleville, Michigan and was ranked as the 45th best prospect in the state. When I watch his high school film, he reminds me a ton of Hooker being a terrific run defender and sure tackler in open space. The Hawkeyes will be relying on him to become the next star at “DB U”.
Watch for Merriweather to settle in through the first couple games before facing a much better quarterback in Brock Purdy and then the real test begins.