Kennedy Settles in with Iowa Receivers

Sept. 25, 2014

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa wide receiver coach Bobby Kennedy is in his second year with the Hawkeye football program, feeling more and more comfortable in his new surroundings, both on and off the field.

    Kennedy joined the Iowa program prior to last seasons after spending two years at the University of Colorado, living near his hometown of Boulder. He says there is a lot of similarity between his hometown and his current city of residence.


    “I love Iowa City, it’s been a great place thus far,” said Kennedy. “I’ve met a lot of really good people, and been able to go to some good restaurants. It’s really a nice place.”

    While Kennedy has adapted to the surroundings, he has also adapted to Iowa football, and the group of Hawkeye wide receivers. The Hawkeyes use a number of wide receivers in their different sets, and the group ranges from fifth-year veteran Kevonte Martin-Manley to young players looking to contribute for the first time.

    “I always say we are a work in progress, we’re not a finished product,” said Kennedy. “They are doing a good job; we’ve had a chance to catch some balls and impact some games. I’m really comfortable with this group and the way they continue to work. They are getting the message, they know how to practice and prepare. I’m pleased with the development this fall.”

    As the veteran of the group, Martin-Manley leads the team in receptions and yards (21-158) after leading the team in each of the last seasons. He ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in both categories and Kennedy says the group looks to him to lead the way.

    “I always tell the young guys, if you want to see a guy who acts like a pro, it’s Kevonte,” pointed out Kennedy. “He’s always the first in line; you have to drag him to get him out of the huddle. He always wants to do extra; he’s always watching tape and studying to improve. He has made my transition easy. It’s easy to point to a guy like Kevonte and say, `this is the way to do things if you want to play at a high level.’

    Damond Powell, who joined the program last year from junior college, is the only other senior to see action through four games. Powell leads the team in average per reception (26.0), much like he did a year ago. Powell, along with a number of the other receivers, is still learning the Iowa system, and learning from their veteran leader.

    “They are a good group, they are serious about football and they want to be good,” said Kennedy. “It’s a process, a process of development. I’m pleased with the way they prepare, but you can always get better in that regard.”

    Through four games, the Iowa passing game has shared the wealth, or, the ball. Thirteen players had at least one reception in the opening game, and 10 or more had had a reception in three of four games. That includes not only the wide receivers, but the running backs and tight ends as well.

    “It’s good to spread the ball around,” said Kennedy. “First of all, it keeps everybody engaged. But also, in talking about the young receivers, they have to realize, when you get in, there is an added sense of urgency. I have to do the right thing; it could be coming to me.”

    The Hawkeyes open Big Ten Conference play Saturday, traveling to face Purdue (11:01 a.m. CT, BTN).

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