Kirk Ferentz’ 2019 Iowa football squad will be facing several good cornerbacks this season. Who are the top 3 the Hawkeyes will see?
Iowa football has recently become known as “DB U” with all the talent that has come through these doors and gone onto the NFL. Guys like Desmond King, Josh Jackson, Greg Mabin, Amani Hooker, Tyler Sash, and Micah Hyde all had terrific careers in Iowa City with King being the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015.
This season, Iowa’s secondary should be a strength highlighted by senior cornerback Michael Ojemudia and junior cornerback Matt Hankins. Sophomores Julius Brents and Riley Moss also figure to be key contributors. On the flip side, Iowa will also be seeing some good cornerbacks this season. Let’s take a look at the top three cornerbacks that could impact Nate Stanley and Iowa’s offensive game plan.
3. Coney Durr, Minnesota
Durr played in just 3 games as a true freshman and missed all of the 2017 season recovering from an ACL injury he sustained in the 2016 season finale. However, he came back and had a really strong 2018. Durr recorded 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sack, 2 interceptions, and 5 pass deflections.
The redshirt junior from Geismar, Louisiana was held in check against Iowa last season tallying just 1 tackle but he got stronger as the season progressed. Durr should be a strength on the Minnesota defense which will be anchored by defensive end Carter Coughlin. Look for Durr to take the next step a full year removed from the ACL injury.
2. Kenneth Major, Purdue
Major saw significant time in 2018, playing 12 games and starting 7 of those as a redshirt freshman. He recorded 51 total tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery. Head coach Jeff Brohm had a lot of influence in getting the two-star prospect to come to West Lafayette.
He had one of his better games against the Iowa football team last season, recording 6 total tackles and the lone fumble recovery. Major certainly didn’t look like an underclassman last season. He plays aggressively and smart. He can make the open field tackles which makes him a huge threat in stopping the run. Expect him to be matched up with Brandon Smith in the Iowa matchup this season.
1. Garrett Taylor, Penn State
The senior from Richmond, Virginia became a full-time starter for the Nittany Lions last season. He made 12 starts but played in all 13 games, recording 71 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble. Taylor came to Happy Valley as a four-star recruit and has lived up to the hype so far.
Taylor had a fairly quiet game against the Iowa football team recording 6 total tackles but finished the season strong with 29 tackles in final 6 games with 1 interception and a pass deflection. For his efforts, he was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches and media.