Aug. 15, 2104
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa worked on kickoff returns Friday during the 15th practice of fall camp, and special teams coach Chris White was pleased.
"I'm excited to see the young returners in the kickoff game," White said. "Whether it be (junior Jordan) Canzeri or (freshmen Akrum) Wadley or Jonathan Parker; they are exciting guys."
Jordan Cotton handled the majority of kick returns last season, but he has graduated. While Cotton returned 29 kicks, Canzeri fielded three for an average of 15 yards per return. Wadley and Parker redshirted in 2013.
Since the Hawkeyes worked on kick returns Friday, that segment probably will not be featured Saturday during the annual Kid's Day event. When it comes to special teams, White said Saturday will be more of a punt day.
Punter is another position that has seen progress and competition. Junior Connor Kornbrath punted 65 times a season ago for an average of 40 yards a punt and a long of 55. He had 11 travel 50-or-more yards and 27 landed inside the 20. Kornbrath is being pushed by junior college transfer Dillon Kidd.
"From the spring, Dillon has really elevated Connor's game and they both have performed extremely well," White said. "I'm very pleased with how we're punting the ball right now."
White is equally content with the place-kicking battle between junior Marshall Koehn and freshmen Mick Ellis and Miguel Recinos.
"We have three talented guys. Each day one guy has stepped up a little more than the others, it's a tight race," White said.
With all the good news coming out of camp concerning Hawkeye special teams, one thing that has not emerged is a clear No. 1 at the respective positions.
"Nothing has sorted itself out other than they are competing hard and they have given great effort and the level of play and execution has been pretty high," White said. "I'm pleased with everything that is going on."
The University of Iowa football team will stage its annual "Kids Day at Kinnick" on Saturday. Kids Day is presented by Kohl's Keeping Kids Safe at University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Gates to Kinnick Stadium will open at 10:45 a.m. (CT), with the team's practice scheduled to begin at 11:45. Team members will sign autographs at 11:15, along the front of the west and south stands. Free schedule posters, cards, magnets, keytags, and rosters will be available inside all open gates. Prior to action on the field, activities will be held in the Krause Family Plaza, which opens to the public at 9:30 a.m. Hawkeye Fans are invited to visit the Elite Chevy Dealers Kids Zone for games, face painting, and free t-shirts for kids, and to meet Herky. The Iowa mascot will be available for photos from 10:30 to 11.