July 24, 2006

Hawkeyes set to get defensive

Last year at this time, Iowa fans were wondering who would step up and replace the four standout seniors on the defensive line. By the end of the season, many Hawkeye fans were wondering why they even bothered to worry.

This time around, new faces are set to step up at linebacker and cornerback for the Hawkeyes. Find out our scouting report on those who will be front and center this fall.

A year ago they were just names with potential. As the season went on, players like Kenny Iwebema, Bryan Mattison, Mitch King, and Matt Kroul proved that they were worthy of the hype and anchored what turned out to be a very solid defensive front that will only get better this fall. But, depth is always important and perhaps at least one player might be poised to steal away a starting position.

Ryan Bain - Last year as a true freshman, Bain lived up to the All American hype at the defensive tackle position. This year, the Bolingbrook native is set to possibly do more than just be part of the rotation in the middle. Bain showed that he was very solid against the run and a good push and burst from the middle against the pass. Look for more of the same this fall and perhaps, Bain could threaten to receive more snaps than one of the current starters at tackle.

Ettore Ewen - Anyone remember the day when his late commitment to Iowa broke and the pictures of the Florida muscle man's pictures hit HawkeyeReport? Since then Ewen has suffered two season ending ACL tears before he was able to play a down of football for the Hawkeyes. Ewen is working his way back and is close to 100% heading into August and fall camp. It should be noted that Ewen was probably in line to be part of the two deeps before his injuries and that could mean he will be a real factor this fall once again.

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