Iowa Hawkeyes 2023 Snapshot Profile: No. 2 Kaleb Johnson
The Iowa Hawkeyes will always be about running the ball. Until an entirely new set of leaders at the top of the football team and athletic department are put in, this is who the Hawks are.
The mentality has been the same: strong running to pair with stifling defense. Over the years for Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz, this mentality has worked. It would be a lot easier to rattle off the years under Ferentz in which Iowa was bad versus the opposite. By following the fundamentals of the game, this team has won a lot and will look to continue doing so.
Last year, the offense took a hit from the year prior. While all of the numbers were down in 2021, they still had a talented back in Tyler Goodson to overcome some of those issues. Last year, there was a big change. Goodson departed for the NFL, as did first-round center Tyler Linderbaum. Iowa had even more to figure out with its running game.
Early on, it looked as though the Iowa running game was going to be miserable in 2022. At times, because of the line and scheme simply not working, it was. However, a shining star in the backfield was able to overcome a lot of those issues and put the team on his back despite his young age.
Enter Kaleb Johnson.
Though just a freshman, the Hamilton, Ohio, native showed all of the potential in the world his freshman year. He could break off the big touchdown, and, when given the keys to the offense, he excelled.
He’s going to need help from the boys up front, but Johnson could be something special over the next two years in Iowa City.
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Preseason Player Profile
Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK
Hometown: Hamilton, Ohio
Class in 2023: Soph.
Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK
Three-year football letterman as running back.
Earned first-team all-state honors as a senior.
Earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Depth Chart Overview
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK
Kaleb Johnson will be the starting running back for the Hawkeyes in his sophomore year, with the potential to become a true bell-cow back. He shot up the depth chart last year as a freshman, forcing the coaching staff to give him the ball more. With his speed and big-play ability, look for Kaleb Johnson to establish himself as the engine of the Iowa Hawkeyes’ offense.
(Photo by Carly Mackler/Getty Images)
“You like to think Kaleb is going to be a better runner this year. He did a nice job last year. He did it kind of by plan. He didn’t understand what he was doing half the time. He’s got a lot more to really benefit from. A good skill set, learn how to use that, block a little bit better,” Ferentz on Johnson after Iowa’s spring practice.
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