Four of the eight changes are in an effort to bolster the offensive line, which lost four starters to graduation. Most notable is the move of tight end C.J. Barkema to the line. Barkema is a 6-8, 272-pound sophomore from Muscatine. Joining him on the move to the offensive line are freshmen Greg Dollmeyer and Mike Elgin, along with sophomore Lee Gray. All three are moving from the defensive line.
Linebacker Mike Follett, a 6-5, 235 pound sophomore, will move to tight end. Follett saw playing time in seven games and recorded six tackles last season. Also moving to tight end will be defensive end Warren McDuffie, a 6-7, 250-pound redshirt freshman. McDuffie played tight end while a prep at City High in Iowa City.
Defensive changes find freshman Matt Drinkall moving from wide receiver to defensive back and Eric Zilisch going from outside linebacker to the defensive line.
"As has been done in the past, we attempt to get all of our players in a position that gives them the greatest opportunity to have success based on their talents and skills," said Ferentz. "This is an ongoing process: we are constantly evaluating our players and our team, overall. In a perfect world, the moves end up being in the best interests of both the individual and the entire team. We are eager to see how these switches play out this spring."