Competition remains open at quarterback position for Hawkeyes

Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa senior quarterback Spencer Petras took first team reps at the Hawkeyes open spring practice on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. After starting in 11 of Iowa’s 14 games last season, Petras remains the front-runner according to head coach Kirk Ferentz for the starting job.

“Overall, yeah, but we’re going to keep an open mind. With our whole football team, we’ll keep competing,” he said.

Although it was just one nearly two hour practice, Petras struggled to complete passes against Iowa’s first-team defense that was without several key factors. Junior Alex Padilla came in with the second-teamers and displayed more accuracy as the signal callers aim to make quicker decisions.

“We don’t want to have the ball in our hands too long,” Padilla explained. “We want to facilitate and get guys the ball who can do stuff with it.”

Padilla dealt with an injury in the first couple weeks of practice, which increased redshirt freshman Joe Labas’ workload. Coach Ferentz believes having these 15 days will help accelerate his progress.

“He has a good attitude, works very hard, very conscientious. As you saw, he does some good things out there,” said Ferentz. “Right now, Joe has a ways to go for us to have confidence that he can go out and play. We’ve seen the other two guys win games for us as the starting quarterback, not that they won the games on their own.”

Whoever wins the starting QB job, will have a different center snapping them the ball. Sophomore Logan Jones was snapping the ball at practice, after making the switch from the defensive line to offensive line.

“It just feels little more natural to me than defense,” said Jones. “It just comes along a little quicker than the defense did when I first got here.”

The switch worked out pretty well last time for the Hawkeyes as Jones looks to fill a void after the departure of All-American and Rimington Trophy winner in Tyler Linderbuam.

“He made the transition just like I did. He knows exactly what I’m going through, so he’s the perfect guy I can go to talk to if I need anything. He said text him any time,” added Jones.

Iowa opens up the season in Iowa City on September 3 against South Dakota State.

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