K-Mart’s stock is on the rise. Kevonte Martin-Manley’s that is. Everyone knows who Keenan Davis is, as he opens up the season as the #1 WR on the roster this year. The senior-to-be Davis finally broke out last year and began to show us what all the hype was about since his arrival. Davis hauled in 50 catches for over 700 yards, averaging over 14 yards per catch and had 4 TD’s behind one of the greatest Hawkeye receivers of all time, Marvin McNutt. Needless to say, Davis will be the main focal point of opposing DB’s this season.
The other main focal point of opposing defenses will be (TE) C.J. Fiedorowicz. Fiedorowicz also burst onto the scene the latter half of the season last year finishing with 16 catches for 167 yards and 3 TD’s. I think anyone who has watched this mammoth beast of a TE knows that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as his potential goes. With the arrival of former Hawkeye Offensive Lineman Brian Ferentz (most recently the TE’s coach for the New England Patriots) you can see comparison’s to Rob Gronkowski (the NFL’s best TE, and it’s not even close) as the 2 share similar skill sets as well as size. Gronkowski comes in at 6’6” 265 lbs and Fiedorowicz at 6’7” 265 lbs. actually giving Fiedorowicz and inch advantage over Gronkowski. New Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis has raved about C.J.’s speed and athletic ability for a man of his size and has already said that at times C.J. will line up as a wide receiver in some formations this year and will most definitely be one of the center pieces of the passing game. The only bad thing is that he won’t be flying under anyone’s radar this season.
So with everyone’s attention pointed towards Keenan Davis and C.J. Fiedorowicz, that should leave Kevonte Martin-Manley with plenty of room to roam. The sophomore-to-be Manley was solid last year as a freshman hauling in 30 catches for 323 yards and 3 TD’s placing him 3rd behind both Davis and of course Mr. McNutt. I think it’s safe to say that “K-Mart’s” #’s could explode this year given the attention that opposing defenses will have to garner to Davis and Fiedorowicz. At 6’0” 205 lbs “K-Mart” isn’t a huge target, but he’s a heck of an athlete who’s a good route runner and displayed great pass-catching ability as a freshman last year.
New Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis has said that while there won’t be any drastic changes in the offense this year, he will play to the team’s strengths and even run some no-huddle offense here and there just to mix things up a bit. With a proven senior QB in James Vandenberg and some uncertainty in the running game, you can bet most of those “strengths” lie within the passing game.