Oliver Martin leads the team in catches
This is undoubtedly my ballsiest prediction at this point because we don’t even know if Oliver Martin will be eligible to play in 2019.
The Michigan transfer and Iowa City native is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA regarding his eligibility waiver despite reports that he had been denied.
But as Leistikow goes on to point out, the fact that we don’t have a decision yet means it’s being heavily considered.
If he is eligible, it will be huge for the potency of the Iowa football team’s passing attack. Despite the emergence of freshman Nico Ragaini and Tyrone Tracy Jr at the slot position, there is a reason Martin was a four-star recruit and why the Iowa football team wanted him badly after announcing his intentions to transfer.
If he is deemed eligible, my guess is he will step into the slot right away with Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith playing on the outside, and as we saw the last two years with now Buffalo Bills wide receiver Nick Easley, Stanley is a big fan of his slot receiver. It’s nearly as important to the movement of the Hawkeye’s offense as the tight end position.
Without an established option at tight end, the reliance on the slot to produce first downs in key situations will be even heavier, leading me to believe if Martin is available, he will end up the team’s reception leaders by the end of the season.