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Iowa OC Brian Ferentz Thinks WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette Could Take Things To Next Level

Iowa star Ihmir Smith-Marsette returns a kick.

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01: Ihmir Smith-Marsette #6 of the Iowa Hawkeyes returns a kick during the 2019 Outback Bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Iowa junior wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette has developed into a key deep threat for the Hawkeyes. His development over the last few years has earned him special recognition from the Iowa staff.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz praised the third-year wide receiver. He went so far as to say that Smith-Marsette is "as impressive a guy as we have on our roster right now."

Ferentz also pointed to Smith-Marsette's growing maturity, noting that he's been making "smart plays" and leading Iowa's younger receivers.

From HawkCentral:

“Developing that attitude of playing the next play and trying to build on things and taking care of the football and making the smart plays."

Additionally, Ferentz was pleased to see that Smith-Marsette has added some extra weight this year. With his added size on top of his top-flight speed, Ferentz expects him to bring his game to the next level

“It has a real effect on the game when you have the ability to send a guy down the field and now you have to make a choice defensively as to how you want to play things... I think he’s developed that strength, that size that makes it easier for him to get off the line of scrimmage, to beat press. And I think that’s really going to elevate his performance.”

Coming out of high school in 2017, Smith-Marsette was considered a three-star prospect by 247Sports. He was the No. 1,598 prospect in the country, and the No. 34 prospect from the state of New Jersey.

As a freshman at Iowa, Smith-Marsette had 18 receptions for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He would nearly double his yardage total as a sophomore with 23 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns.

His yards and touchdowns were second among Iowa wide receivers last year.

He's also an elite kick returner, finishing second in the country with 29.5 yards per return last season. He was announced as an Athlon preseason First Team All-American earlier this summer.

If Smith-Marsette really is as ready to take that next step, Iowa could have a dangerous weapon on their hands.