3 biggest Iowa football storylines to follow this spring

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2. The QB situation

Cade McNamara, who suffered a torn left ACL in Week 5 this past season, will miss the majority of spring ball despite still being the perceived starter, so Iowa’s quarterback situation will be very contingent upon his health and rehabilitation.

His absence leaves junior Deacon Hill and freshman Marco Lainez III left to battle for the momentary starting quarterback job this spring. Hill stepped in as the starter last season following the McNamara injury, but made little impact for what wound up being a historically bad offense. Riddled by inconsistency, Hill accrued 1,152 passing yards, five touchdowns, and eight interceptions, doing so behind a 48.6 completion rate.

Iowa fans should take whoever takes first-team reps this spring with a grain of salt because, as previously stated, the quarterback situation revolves around McNamara’s status. Although, something to keep an eye on his how Lester elevates the position in his new offense.

A former college quarterback himself, Lester has a history of grooming quarterbacks in his coaching days. As the quarterbacks coach at Purdue in 2016, he helped guide David Blough to a 3,352-yard, 30-touchdown campaign that eventually earned him a spot on an NFL roster. As the head coach of his alma mater Western Michigan, Lester also mentored quarterback Kaleb Eleby, who finish third in the country in passer rating in 2022.

With all things considered, do not be surprised if Iowa goes searching for an additional quarterback in the next transfer portal cycle at the end of the month to help bolster the offense either.