The Iowa football team’s 2019 wide receiver group may be one of the best we’ve seen, but 2020 could be even better, and here’s why.
With former four-star recruit and Iowa City native Oliver Martin officially being ruled immediately eligible for the 2019 season, many Iowa football fans took to Twitter to claim this the best wide receiver group in the Kirk Ferentz era. I was one of those people boldly making this claim before a single snap has been played.
But I’m going to take it one step further. I think next year’s group could be even better.
None, I repeat none, of the top five wide receivers, graduate after this season, and unless something ridiculous happens and Ihmir Smith-Marsette or Brandon Smith has one of the best seasons in Iowa football history, I expect each of the top five wide receivers to return next year.
Smith-Marsette and Smith will both be seniors while Martin will be a redshirt junior. Behind him will be redshirt sophomore wide receivers Tyrone Tracy Jr and Nico Ragaini. Behind them are two D-1 transfers that quietly joined the Iowa football program this summer in the midst of all the Oliver Martin chaos, Charlie Jones and Jack Combs. While neither of these guys is big names, they do have 21 catches combined to their names and bring D-1 experience. And for being the 6th and 7th guys (or even worse) on the depth chart, that’s pretty darn good.
What’s even better is we aren’t even factoring in some of the good young recruits the Hawks have brought in even more recently such as Demond Hutson.
While it’s bold to say this group is already better than Ricky Stanzi’s trio of Marvin McNutt, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, and Colin Sandeman, it’s not bold to think it’s possible.
For a program that has devoted itself to running the ball, we may be in for a big transition over the next two years with how much talent is in the wide receiver room.