Iowa CITY, Iowa - Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said on Saturday night that he would be ready to name his starting quarterback within the next few days. People that watched the scrimmage earlier in the day received a pretty good indication that it would be Jake Rudock.
The redshirt sophomore took the vast majority of the first-team reps at the annual Kids Day event in Kinnick Stadium. C.J. Beathard appeared to be running second, ahead of Cody Sokol, in the quarterback competition.
"You (as the media and fans) can say that (Rudock is the clear-cut No. 1), but we'll look at the tapes and talk a little bit (Sunday), the next couple of days," Ferentz said. "We'll probably make some decisions this week."
Ferentz and coordinator Greg Davis stated that the three signal callers were in a dead heat entering camp two weeks ago. After Saturday's open scrimmage in front of about 15,000 fans, 14 days remained until the Aug. 31 opener against Northern Illinois.
Rudock served as James Vandenberg's back-up last season but did not play a snap. Beathard red shirted as a true freshman in 2012 and Sokol did the same thing after transferring in from junior college.
"(Rudock) Is doing a good job," Ferentz said. "No complaints there. He's still a young guy but he's done a really nice job.
"I don't think anybody is displeased with the other two guys, either. They're doing a good job as well. We'll see what it looks likes this week but I think the guys are moving forward. This week was another week of evaluation and we'll probably go a couple more days."
The quarterbacks were furnished with strong play from the wide receivers on Saturday night. Junior college transfer Damond Powell electrified the crowd with a couple of long plays that highlighted his exceptional speed, including a deep touchdown grab over two defenders. True sophomore Tevaun Smith also played well.
"It was good to see those guys make some plays," Ferentz said. "Both of them made some difficult plays."
Another intriguing story line from Saturday came courtesy of true freshman running back Leshun Daniels. He received quite a few touches and looked as good as any player at his position did during the scrimmage. The bruising back was more advanced physically than most first-tear guys.
"We haven't decided (if Daniels will play this year), but it looks like he's got a good shot," Ferentz said. "He's done a nice job. He's handled everything.
"A couple of the other guys have been out so it's opened the door and he's really done a good job."
Daniels is listed in the media guide at 6-feet, 215 pounds and he looks every bit of it.
Defensively, the line did a nice job of pressuring the quarterbacks. It also showed up well in the red zone drills against the run.
"The good news right now is that the injuries we have right now are camp injuries," Ferentz said. "Everybody should be back pretty shortly. It was a little scary today when (Eric) Simmons went down but he's fine."
Quick Hitters Iowa ran some packages with Damon Bullock split out wide and Mark Weisman lined up in a single-back set…Ferentz indicated that Boffeli would be one of his starting guards when he returns from injury. Saturday's first-team line included Brandon Scherff, Andrew Donnal, Austin Blythe, Jordan Walsh and Brett Van Sloten…Johnny Lowdermik served as the first-team strong safety and looked to have an advantage in his battle with Nico Law for that starting spot…The staring defensive line consisted of Louis Trinca-Pasat and Carl Davis at tackle with Dominic Alvis and Drew Ott at the ends. Faith Ekakitie, Darian Cooper, Jaleel Johnson and Mike Hardy made up the second unit…Kevonte Martin Manley looked like the leading candidate for the punt returner job. Riley McCarron and Jordan Canzeri also took a few reps on Saturday…Kickers Mike Meyer and Marshall Koehn were perfect on their field goal attempts on Saturday.
-Rudock looks the most comfortable and efficient running the offense but C.J. Beathard will push him throughout the season. The latter has more big-play capability, although Rudock ran the ball effectively on Saturday.
-True freshman quarterback Nic Shimonek boasts an effortless delivery and throws a nice ball. It will be exciting to see him develop.
-Daniels will play. He's too good not to be on the field. He's the closest thing to Shonn Greene, physically, in an Iowa uniform since the former Doak Walker winner went pro after the 2008 season.
-The defensive line looks much improved. Ott and Davis each picked up a sack Saturday and there was more quarterback pressure than we've seen in a while. Reese Morgan may be the best hire Ferentz has made at Iowa.
-The interior of the offensive line did not play its best ball in the scrimmage. It missed Boffeli, for sure, but it needs to tighten up.
-Iowa has developed some depth at linebacker. Outside reserves Cole Fisher and Travis Perry delivered some bone-crunching hits on Saturday and Quinton Alston would be starting in the middle of quite a few other defenses.
-Powell is legit. He showed off some speed on Saturday night that we have not seen very often in the last decade and a half around here. He outran several defensive backs who had an angle on him in very impressive fashion. He's also quick with his cuts and makes people miss.
-The tight ends were quiet on Saturday. Receivers were targeted on most of the underneath routes. C.J. Fiedorowicz was overthrown on a couple of occasions.