Fall camp started last week. I've been following along on HawkeyeSports.com and GoHawks.com. Thus far they've posted photo galleries from each practice (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and a couple of practice videos. It's pretty difficult to glean much information from these limited sources other than dude, Carl Davis looks huge. But Kids' Day is today (!) and we'll have our first opportunity to take a look at the full 2011 squad in action. The weather looks like it'll be pretty good especially compared to the snow for the spring game and last year's blazing heat on Kids' Day.

The latest video.

If you're thinking about going.

Today's open practice starts around noon and the gates to Kinnick open at 11:00. If it follows the standard open practice model, Kids' Day will likely be about an hour of stretching, position drills, team drills, etc... followed by an hour of scrimmage.

Things I'll be watching

Some of the position battles getting the most attention this off-season have been for backup spots on the offense--the number 2 quarterback, running back, tight end... And yes, they'll be drawing my eyes too, especially when they have a ball in their hand. But what I'm more interested in watching today is the defense.

The secondary
The depth chart has the starting secondary as Prater (CB), Castillo (CB), Sleeper (SS), and Hyde (FS). And based on the shots from practiced, it looks like that's who they've been going with. I'm interested to see if they try any other combinations today. The only spot that's locked down for sure if Prater at corner. I wouldn't be surprised if the other 3 spots are filled by different players by the time September 3 comes around. Earlier in the week, Marc Morehouse tweeted Hyde was back practicing at corner which likely means Tanner Miller was the FS. Also I think Bernstine has a good chance to win the SS spot over Sleeper.

Defensive ends
The two expected starters at end, Binns and Daniel, were missing from the latest video. Daniel has some minor injury and has been practicing in a red no contact jersey. I'm not sure what's going on with Binns. If neither are fullspeed today we'll get a good chance to see some other names. Dominic Alvis, who's listed as a starting DT but is on a small side, could be there now that Davis appears to have taken over as a first string tackle.

The freshmen
This is our first chance to see the incoming class so I'm excited to see what they can do and if anyone has cracked the 2-deeps yet. The 3 freshmen runningbacks will probably have the largest part of my attention as it's highly likely at least one of them will play this year. I am also interested in seeing some of the more highly touted recruits like TE Ray Hamilton and S Nico Law.

Some random individuals I like to follow
  • C.J. Fiedorowicz: He looked good in the spring and I'd like to see how he's developed especially with his blocking.
  • Jordan Bernstine: I mentioned him earlier, but I really am expecting big things from him this year. I'm watching the battle for SS closely.
  • Carl Davis: Also mentioned earlier, twice...with his size he is just very intriguing. Iowa hasn't had a defensive tackle this large in a long time.

It should be a fun day today. I'm taking my 3 year old and he's excited. We had a good time last year, but it was just so hot. The weather should be much better today.

See you there.