For the first time in what feels like eons, there could be good news brewing at the wide receiver position for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Both Keagan Johnson and Nico Ragaini, Iowa’s two leading receivers last season, were once again absent on the depth chart to start the week.
The pair was practicing, though, and, according to one report out there, it sounds like the duo is set to make their 2022 season debut against the Nevada Wolf Pack from inside Kinnick Stadium at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Big Ten Network’s Meghan McKeown reported that the pair should play tonight. That would be a welcome lift for an Iowa offense that hasn’t been able to do much of anything right thus far in 2022.
Wednesday, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Nico Ragaini and Keagan Johnson have practiced all 3 days. BTN reporter @MeghanMcKeown_ said this morning both should play tonight. A huge lift for a unit that has played only 1 scholarship WR in 2 games (outside of Brody Brecht’s 4 plays).
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) September 17, 2022
“Well, they’re practicing. That’s a starting point. That’s the first step to getting in a game and playing well is practicing. You can’t do it without practicing. Having them actually in a helmet and catching a ball with shoulder pads on, that’s encouraging.
“They’ve missed time, obviously. Nico is a more experienced player, and he’s been in the fight a lot sooner than Keagan. Keagan you’re looking about an eight-plus-month deficit right now, so that’s what he’s got to overcome. It’s great to see him out there, and it’s great to get Nico back, too. We have to be careful about how fast and how far we push them as we move forward,” Ferentz said in his weekly press conference.
Naturally, it would be a gigantic lift if both Johnson and Ragaini are back today and for the long haul. Johnson finished his true freshman season with 18 receptions, 352 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, Ragaini reeled in 26 grabs for 331 yards and one score in 2021. Over Ragaini’s career, he has 91 catches for 968 yards and three touchdowns.
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