With nearly 60% of last year’s targets up for grabs, the Hawkeyes’ freshmen pass catchers are hoping to fill that void.
Returning receivers Brandon Smith and Ihmir Smith-Marsette are expected to be the primary pass catchers this season, but several young receivers could find themselves in the mix.
“It doesn’t take a while for me to catch on to things,” said redshirt freshman receiver Tyrone Tracy. “You tell me once, I’ll pick it up and run it in practice that day. You tell me a route that I need to change, okay, I got you. I’ll change it that day. There’s not a lot that I’ll mess up on multiple times. I might mess up once, but then after that one time I will fix it.”
“We all give great effort and we all learn from each other,” added reshirt freshman receiver Nico Ragaini. “When one of us is in the game and in practice, we’re learning from him and getting mental reps. We know that there are gonna be some roles open this year, so we’re just trying make the best of our opportunity and to take advantage of what’s in front of us.”
“Tyrone and Nico, they have a knack for getting open just like Nick did the last two years,” said senior quarterback Nate Stanley. “They do a great job and you can almost always count on them for getting open in man coverage.”
Head coach Kirk Ferentz is pleased with their progress. “They’re both, I think, doing a really nice job. Seeing a lot of good things, even going back to the spring, that are encouraging. So I think that position certainly has a chance to be a little bit more potent than a year ago.”