Iowa Hawkeyes football is slated to begin its spring practice on March 27, and as with any spring practice, this will lead to a number of opportunities, especially for underclassmen.
These opportunities will be complicated by what ESPN's Adam Rittenberg referred to as the Iowa staff's "extreme makeover."
After a year of transition, still fairly new offensive coordinator Greg Davis should have his offense fully installed this spring. Moreover, three position groups will get their first impressions of new position coaches.
Furthermore, defensive coordinator (DC) Phil Parker will have more talent to play with, as his defense last year—the first of his career as a DC—was woefully undersized and inexperienced, especially up front, as Jim Nelson of the WCF Courier reported last August.
More than anything else, head coach Kirk Ferentz will depend on these young players to seize their opportunities in order to turn around a program that has been on a three-year slide.
As is always the case, the players with the most to gain not only have a great deal to offer, but also play a position that has the most questions.
Finally, those who seize the opportunity early will be able to build on their early successes, as spring practice is the beginning of a snowball effect in college football.
Those who fare well in the spring begin the summer camp at the top of the depth chart. That means they receive more quality and quantity reps than those who didn't fare as well. This gives them the most opportunity to improve, which, in turn, keeps them at the top of the depth chart.