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Hawkeyes media day talks areas of strength and weaknesses for upcoming season

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The 2017 version of the Iowa Hawkeyes are in action, but only just getting started. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes held their annual media day.

Iowa comes off an 8-5 season in 2016 and a loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl back in January. The team is six workouts into the 2017 season and looks to fill a number of positions before opening day after a big graduating class.

Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said he isn't sure who will be calling the shots from under center just yet and that players still have to prove themselves to fill other open spaces.

"We're really young on the perimeter right now both, I say young slash inexperienced at the corner positions, basically safety and receivers so I would not include the running backs in that group but quarterbacks and that's our team in a nut shell. That's where this important work is really going to help us out," Ferentz said.

Wide Receiver, Matt VandeBerg, rejoins the Hawkeyes for the season after missing most of the 2016 season due to a broken foot. He's keen on the idea of a competition on who will be throwing to him this year.

"The beauty of a competition is when you have two guys going back and forth, one guy makes a good play, the other guy wants to one up him you know and that in return gets each one of them better but that gets the team better because guys are just pushing forward and that's all that we can ask for," VandeBerg said.

Up for the starting quarterback position is Nathan Stanley, as a true freshman last season he saw action in seven games. 

"Tyler and I are just working hard and just trying to get better so that's all that really matters as long as we get better and we can contribute to the team that's all that matters," Stanley said.

While other positions will be filled with youth, Ferentz looks at two spots as the teams anchors; running backs and linebackers. He said the linebacker core resembles the 2013 squad.

"We're not going to win with just those three guys but that's one of those areas where we're having to count on, it would be foolish not to. Those guys have to play their best just like I would expect our line to do the same thing or full backs or tight ends. That's where we've got more experience and that's where everything is going to have to kind of generate from and then we'll go from there," Ferentz said.

During Saturday's press conference, Ferentz had a lot of praise for junior running back Akrum Wadley, who he said is playing at one of the highest levels on the team.

"We all competing right now. We all working hard and I know, James, all of the running backs we have. We add different things to the team and if we can all pull it together, put it together we all can help out the team the best way we can," Wadley said.

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