Fight For Iowa on Twitter

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Okay, so I don't have the same level of dislike for Twitter that Kirk Ferentz has, but I think it's way over-hyped. Despite that fact, Fight For Iowa is now (actually has been for a while) on Twitter. So for updates on new posts, some of my random Iowa Football thoughts, and any quick information that's not worthy of an entire post, follow me at http://twitter.com/FightForIowa.

Wear Gold to UNI and Blackout Arizona

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The University of Iowa has officially announced its 2 color-themed games for the 2009 football season. While, the "Be Bold, Wear Gold" game against UNI has been known for a while, this is the first official announcement I've seen. The idea for this event is to coincide with FRYFEST. It should be a fun day and should be warm enough where the fans can actually just wear their gold t-shirts (because seriously, who has a gold coat?).

"Blackout Saturday" is schedule for the third week of the year for the game against Arizona. This game is definitely the most anticipated of the non-conference schedule (and it's the one I'm going to). It should be a good Big Ten vs Pac-10 match up and is a 2:30 regional ABC/ESPN game. I've already got a good black Iowa t-shirt (who doesn't )that I wore to the Penn State game last year, but if you want the official blackout shirt you can find it here.

Recruiting the State of Iowa

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Not all states are created equal when it comes to producing Division I football talent. And, unfortunately, the state of Iowa is not a top producer. Of the 8 states in which Big Ten schools inhabit, only Wisconsin ranks worse in terms of producing BCS-conferences football players (Minnesota is tied with Iowa). For this reason, recruiting the talent that is in-state is vitally important to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Top Iowa Talent - 2010:
The good news is, Iowa's coaching staff is doing a great job recruiting the best instate talent for the class of 2010. The Hawkeyes have already picked up verbal commitments from James Morris, Matt Hoch, Brandon Scherff, and Austin Vier. That is 4 of the top 10 Iowa prospects as rated by Rivals.com. Iowa also has a good shot with Andre Dawson and an okay chance with A.J. Derby. Only one in the top 10, Kirby Van Der Kamp, a kicker, has committed elsewhere. Scout features a similar top 10 in Iowa list in which the Hawkeyes have commitments from 3 of the 10.

RankRivalsScout
1A.J. DerbyAndre Dawson
2James MorrisA.J. Derby
3Andre DawsonBrandon Sherff
4Matt HochJames Morris
5Brandon ScherffMatt Hoch
6James KohlerJames Kohler
7Austin VierZach McCabe
8Jacob GannonCole Heissel
9Jake FarleyBrock Massner
10Kirby Van Der KampJake Farley


Iowans on the Roster:
This is definitely not the first year that Kirk Ferentz and his staff have been successful recruiting in state. In the past 3 years, 50% of the total in-state BCS-conference talents have ended up Hawkeyes. On the current roster there are 52 players from the state of Iowa (out of 114...that's 45.6%). Of the current projected starter for the first game of the year (so Vandervelde and Calloway are not in there), 5 are Iowans: Daniel Murray, Jordan Bernstine, Tyler Sash, Brett Greenwood, and Pat Angerer.

Considering the lack of football that come out of Iowa, I'd say Kirk Ferentz has done a great job getting the guys to join the Hawkeyes and he's certainly developed their talent. I'm also excited about the 4 in-state guys that have committed for 2010. I'm hopeful about Derby and Dawson as well. Go state of Iowa!

Fight For Iowa goes Mobile

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There's a new link in the navigation menu for Fight For Iowa - Mobile. The mobile site is nothing fancy, but you can at least check for new blog posts. I'm working on adding more features. So far I just have the 2009 Iowa Football Schedule but I plan on adding the depth chart and maybe a few other things. Anyway, if you're big on browsing the web from your phone be sure to save this link: http://fightforiowa.mofuse.mobi/

Painting the Kinnick Water Tower

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The water tower adjacent to Kinnick Stadium is iconic. It is conspicuously viewable from in and around the stadium and most college football fans know it from seeing it on TV, in the background in video games, and in countless Kinnick photos. Though the topic is a favorite amoung Hawkeye fans, little often comes of the painting discussions. Last year, one fan sent a letter to University President Sally Mason requesting the tower be painted with a large Tigerhawk. Mason apparently had better things to do and nothing came of his attempts…that is until now. On Monday, Iowa's Athletic Direction Gary Barta announced that he was in favor of painting the water tower adjacent to Kinnick Stadium with a Hawkeye logo. He also said, "If a petition gets signed, I may join the fans."

Petition:
Well, it didn't take long for fans to catch wind of Barta's painting endorsement and there is now an online petition. The petition already has about 1,000 e-signatures and the number keeps growing as many fans are putting links up on FaceBook, sending emails to friends and family, and sharing it on mulitple threads on the Hawkeye messages boards. Browsing through some of the signatures, most look legitimate and most are in favor of a Tigerhawk being painted upon the water tower in some combination of black and gold. There are however, a few e-sigs out there that are suspicious. They are doing a pretty good job of removing the obvious jokes (and I saved a few!), but there are still some out there if you go digging for them. Here's a few of the more interesting ones:

806. Stanley Hawk - Suggested Design: a nice picture of Jake Christensen (was deleted)
725. Steve Alford - Suggested Design: Steve Alford's Face (also deleted)
928. Bill Heineman - Suggested Design: Tiger Hawk, in flight, chewing on a badger, with a cyclone in one claw and a nittany lion in the other and a pile of mascot bones and remains of all the rest of the teams we destroy on the ground. As well as a monster sized GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!
379. Brett Bielema - Suggested Design: IOWA with Nike swoosh underneath (missed opportunity there with a Tigerhawk tattoo joke)
271. Jeff Stickel - Suggested Design: Iowa State Logo (boo Jeff Stickel!)

Design:
The overwhelming favorite choice for the design to be painted on the water tower is of a Tigerhawk, either gold with a black ground as pictured above, or the opposite black with a gold background. I like the idea of the Tigerhawk, but I'm not sure how well it would fit on the water tower. If you take a look at the water tower you can see that the support legs come about halfway up the tank. The cuts significantly into the space you can have a painting (and have it look good). If you want to place a picture so it is directly facing the inside of Kinnick, one of the post is right in the middle of where the pictures would go. You can see it in the picture above, the Tigerhawk goes right over that post. For that reason, I am in favor of the block "I" that you see on so many baseball caps. Take a look at the Idaho water tower to see what I'm talking about. In addition to the Tigerhawk and the block "I", there are some other creative design ideas floating around. Check out the photoshop posted in this thread. Hawk Central also has a good paint the water tower thread going with pictures of other university water tower and even has a link to a water tower painting company.

I'm very interested to watch this story grow. There would definitely be some potential for a petition to get a lot of signatures (like 70,585) at a home football game and I think that would be hard to ignore. Especially if someone can find some financial backing for this project. Anyway, I'm doing my part by adding my name to the petition and adding a link to it on this blog.

Iowa News from the Big Ten Media Days

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Today was the second and final day of the 2009 Big Ten Media Days. I was going to try to post last night with yesterday's information, but that didn't happen, so I'll try to get to everything in this one post. Kirk Ferentz actually provided a lot of information in some of the side interviews. His main press conference (which you can see here) was not spectacular, however. Anyway, to start things off check out the 3 videos posted on On Iowa of Kirk Ferentz at media days.

Suspensions:
Kyle Calloway - 1 game
James Ferentz - 1 game
Shaun Prater - 2 games

I don't think that will hurt the team too much. The offensive line should be fine without Calloway or Ferentz for the first game against UNI. It would be nice to have Prater back for Iowa State just to have some more depth in the defensive backfield, but it should still be okay. Ferentz said there's still a battle between Prater and Berstine that's "wide open," so we'll see what happens week 3. I'm guessing Bernstine will be the the #1 but we'll still see Prater in some of the nickle or dime packages.

Center:
It sounds like there is going to be quite the position battle at center. However, one name not in the mix is Julian Vandervelde. Vandervelde will not move to center, even though they experimented with that in the spring. I wonder if that has something to do with his injury. Also, apparently Josh Koeppel is one to watch for this fall. Rafeal Eubanks is currently the #1 guy, but Coach Ferentz said that Koeppel has looked good. That'll probably make a lot of the Eubanks haters happy. Eubanks definitely had his bad moments as Iowa struggled in 2007, but he does bring a lot of experience. I'm also interested to see how James Ferentz fits into the battle. I think the 1 game suspension definitely hurts his chances of earning the starting job. He probably would have at least seen some action in clean up time against UNI. But now, he'll likely have to earn his time during practice. I think there is still an outside chance that he'll end up the starter mid-season or so depending on how the offensive line is gelling.

Jewel Hampton:
We know the whole Jewel Hampton injury thing has been a "circus" (Ferentz's word). And, I think for now the story will finally be laid to rest. Kirk Ferentz said on Monday that Hampton will be full speed by next week. That sounds like perfect timing to me as practice for the 2009 season begins on August 5 (that's also Iowa's Media Day). Hampton's health was also confirmed by the man himself on FaceBook, saying his latest MRI was clean and he's "GOOD-TO-GO!!"

Angerer, Moeaki, Edds Videos:


Preseason Picks:
Preseason Favorites: 1. Ohio State, 2. Penn State, 3. Michigan State (the media likes those state school apparently) OSU's Terrel Pryor is Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and MSU's Greg Jones is the Defensive Player of the Year. I still don't get why people would put MSU at #3 over Iowa (at least Rittenberg got it right). I know it's just the preseason and I should take an example from Kirk Ferentz and not care, but it still think these people got it wrong. Anyway, on to more wrongness...Pryor as the POPOTY? I guess the media likes his potential, but there are much more proven players to choose from in the Big Ten…Royster, Benn, Clark, throw in Stanzi for a homer pick, etc…

Links For Iowa - July 27, 2009

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Lots of links today...

Rivals - Iowa #18
Rivals.com has placed the Iowa Hawkeyes #18 in its preseason top 120 countdown. The site has a good and accurate, though brief, breakdown of the team. To summarize, Stanzi needs to hold onto the ball, Bulaga is really good, Keenan Davis has a chance to be a play maker, look for Jewel Hampton and Tony Moeaki to emerge, the receivers are a strength on offense (okay...I'm not sure I totally agree with that), the center position is the biggest question on offense, Iowa plays a straight forward 4-3, Spievey is a stud, Mycah Hyde and Steve Bigach are newcomers to watch, Klug could emerge as a good player on the line, the linebackers are a very good unit, and King and Kroul leave a void in the middle.

CFN - Big Ten Preview
College Football News has a decent preview of the Big Ten for 2009. What is absolutely crazy though, it is picks for the year's schedule. Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State are all predicted to go 10-2. Are you kidding me? I know Illinois has everyone back on offense, but they were 5-7 last year. And Michigan State...how are they going to win 1 more game than last year when 87% of their total offense (Ringer and Hoyer) aren't on the team any more. Anyway, maybe I'm completely wrong and my endless rant on MSU being overrated will come back to haunt me, so I'll move on for now. Iowa is predicted to go 8-4, losing all of the conference road games. I don't really have a problem with that prediction, though I think it's more likely Iowa will split the road games and maybe lose one we shouldn't...9-3 sound more like it to me.

Barta is pro paint the water tower
For all you out there that are passionate about getting the iconic water tower outside of Kinnick paint black and gold, Iowa's Athletic Director Gary Barta is right there with you. Barta said, "I’ve been a proponent of putting a logo on the water tower for some time." He's also willing to sign a petition. Somebody better get on that.

On Iowa - Kirk Ferentz Interview
Before the Media Days extravaganza (I still have more to post...hopefully soon) Marc Morehouse had a long and in depth phone interview with Kirk Ferentz. Coach offers his insight on Twitter (he hates it), recruiting, the NFL, parenting, and more in this excellent interview. This is a must read and probably doesn't deserve to be buried deep in this post.

Princeton Review - Top Party Schools
The University of Iowa comes in a #12 on the annual top party schools list by the Princeton Review. Our friends out east, Penn State come in at #1, Wisconsin is #8, and also in the top 20 is Indiana at #14. Just don't remind any of the football players of this ranking. They can party after the season is over.

B10 Media Days - Kirk Ferentz Video

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In case you missed the mini press conference with Kirk Ferentz at the Big Ten Media Days, I've posted the video here. Coach Ferentz does have a lot of exciting information, but to his credit he answered the questions the best he could. Seriously, who do they have asking these question? "Did you guys beat an SEC team in the bowl game last year?" Yeah, it was South Carolina idiot. Why are you asking dumb questions about the SEC anyway? This is the Big Ten Media Days.

Anyway, it's still worth watching the video and if you want to read the transcript it can be found here. I'll have more on the first day of Media Days later tonight so check back.

More on the Shrine Bowl

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I just watched the Shrine Bowl and I'm just thrilled I got to see some actual football. Even better though, I got to see some future Hawkeyes play for the first time. I already posted about Wyatt Suess, but now have some updates on 3 more players: Brett Van Sloten, Drew Clark, and Jordan Cotton.

Brett Van Sloten:
Van Sloten is an offensive tackle and was playing for the North team. What really stood out to me was his pass blocking ability. I don't recall him getting beat at all on a passing play though the defense wasn't allowed to stunt or blitz. He's got some good size at 6'7", 270 and it showed on the field. He had no problem over-powering the South's defensive ends. Van Sloten also handled the punting duties for the North. I don't think there's any chance he'll be punting for Iowa, but he did have a few nice kicks.

Drew Clark:
Clark played tackle opposite of Van Sloten on the North's offensive line. He looked really quick for a lineman. He consistently was getting to the second level on run plays and was effective when pulled on counter plays. I did notice him whiff on some of his blocks though and one time I'm pretty sure he ran right over his teammate. But, when he did get on his block he looked very good clearing the way for the North's running backs.

Jordan Cotton:
Cotton had a very good game for the South. He was a wingback in the game and will be a wide receiver at Iowa. Cotton showed his quickness today catching a few passes and running the ball effectively. He also showed some elusiveness, especially when he got the ball in space. I don't have the stats, but it wouldn't surprise me if he had the most yards for the South team. I'm not sure if it's because it is July, but he did make a few mistakes as well. He had an illegal shift penalty against him and also slipped and fumbled the ball once. I'm sure with some more practice he'll get those things fixed.

I don't think any of these guys will see the field this fall, though Cotton has an outside chance. But, it was still fun to get to see them play and I fully expect to see them contributing in the years to come.

Shrine Bowl - Suess leads North to victory

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Incoming freshman QB Wyatt Suess connected with Josh Lenz (who's headed to Iowa State in the fall) for a 54 yard touchdown with just 2:16 left in the 4th quarter. The score was the last of the game and put the North up 21-17 for the win. According to the Des Moines Register Suess went 6 of 21 for 120 yards with the game winning touchdown and no interceptions. Suess will be a preferred walk-on for Iowa this fall. He will start out at quarterback, but is very open to changing position.

I'm still trying to find more information on how the other incoming Hawkeyes did in the Shrine Bowl. Depending on what's going on I will try watch the game tonight at 4:00 on the Mediacom Connections Channel and report back with more info.

Google Gadget - Iowa Hawkeyes Football Schedule

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I've started the process of adapting the gadgets in the sidebar on this site for iGoogle. (In case you don't have an iGoogle page, read more about it here.) If you as big of a Hawkeye fanatic as I am, then you'll want to customize your iGoogle homepage with as much Iowa stuff as possible. But when I searched for gadgets with the word "Hawkeyes" only 4 gadgets came up. So, I'm beginning to make some more so we can all keep up with Iowa Football right from our homepages.

Anyway, the first gadget I've made is for the football schedule. You may have noticed the little "Add to iGoogle" link under the schedule on the right. It's nothing fancy, but it should automatically update when new game times and TV schedules are announced. I'll also update it with the game results.

Here's the link to add the Iowa Hawkeyes Football Schedule gadget to your iGoogle page: Iowa Hawkeyes Football Schedule

One more quick note, you can also add a RSS Feed Gadget for Fight For Iowa to keep up with any new posts directly from your iGoogle page. Here's the link to add the Fight For Iowa feed to you iGoogle page: Fight For Iowa Gadget

There are 2 luxury suites still available

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The CR Gazette is reporting that there are still 2 of the 46 luxury suites available in Kinnick for the 2009 season. So, if anyone out these has an extra $45,000 laying around, please feel free to purchase a suite for me. Of course I'll invite you along and you can even bring a friend…there are 12 seats in each suite so I would be willing to share.

There are also still mini-pack tickets available through Iowa State for $99. You would basically be paying the full amount for the Iowa-Iowa State game. You could try to sell the tickets for ISU-North Dakota State and ISU-Colorado, but I'm not sure that it would be very easy. You might get like $5 or so.

Links For Iowa - July 23, 2009

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I saw this video floating around. It's pretty good and will really get you pumped up for football.

Iowa Related

Donnal commits to Iowa
Here's a good article on Iowa's latest commit, Andrew Donnal. Donnal chose the Hawkeyes after building a good relationship with the coaches. Iowa was the second team to offer Donnal a scholarship and they were unyielding in the recruiting process. The team's "repuation of producing NFL linemen" also helped Donnal with his decision.

Vandervelde Honored
It's nice to read positive news about Iowa football players, isn't it? Julian Vandervelde has ben nominated for the Allstate Good Works team for his work assisting with flood refilef and with the Iowa Children's Miracle Network. Vandervelde was a projected starter along the inside of the offensive line but is currently nursing a shoulder injury.

Jewel Hampton Update
Marc Morehouse has a little update on Jewel Hampton's injury. Kirk Ferentz says he's "cautiously optimistic" about Jewel's condition. I hope he has a speedy recovery. Though I don't think we'll need him against UNI it would be good if he's back and 100% for Iowa State and Arizona.

Why the Hawkeyes will be better than the Spartans

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The 2009 preseason consensus is that Michigan State will finish 3rd in the Big Ten and Iowa will finish 4th. The gap is not large, and Phil Steele actually put the two tied in 4th place, but it still annoys me. Iowa will be better than Michigan State in 2009.

Offense:
The two teams were fairly similar on offense in 2008. They both ran a pro-style offense and had a strong power running attack. Both teams preferred to run inside the red zone scoring twice as many rushing touchdowns as passing touchdowns, though Iowa had 11 more total touchdowns than MSU. Also, unlike Iowa's balanced offense which had 189 rush yards per game and 184 pass yards, Michigan State was more pass heavy with only 138 yards on the ground (actually surprisingly low to me considering Javon Ringer averaged 126 yards per game himself) versus 214 through the air. Even though MSU's passing attack was more potent, it was less efficient as Iowa had a better completion percent (58.4% to 53.6%), yards per pass attempt (7.4 to 6.9), and pass rating (130.1 to 116.1).

Coming into 2009, both teams must replace a top 5 running back (Greene was #2 and Ringer was #4 in rushing yards) and a couple of linemen. This will certainly test both teams ability to run. Iowa returns more experience in the backfield with Jewel Hampton's 91 carries for 463 yards and 7 touchdowns versus MSU's leading returner Andre Anderson who only had 97 yards on 26 carries. Iowa also returns more experience along the offensive line. Though both teams lose 2 starters, Iowa can plug in the holes with Rafael Eubanks, a starter from 2007, at center and Dace Richardson or Dan Doering, previous starters back from injury, at guard. Compare that to tackle J’Michael Deane and guard Jared McGaha who both only played in 1 game last year.

The biggest difference, though, is that Michigan State must also replace quarterback Brain Hoyer when Iowa has the luxury of having returning starter Ricky Stanzi. Michigan State does have 2 viable options at quarterback with Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol. While both are very talented, they lack experience which can be vital to the success of a quarterback.

I will give MSU the nod in one area though, and that's at wide receiver. The Spartans return the 4 leaders in receiving yards from last year including 3 reliable wide receivers, Blair White, B.J. Cunningham, and Mark Dell, and a serviceable tight end, Charlie Gantt. Iowa, on the other hand, loses 2 of its top 3 receivers (Andy Brodell and Brandon Myers). There is definitely talent at the position but nobody is really proven (yeah DJK played well at the end of last year, but he needs to stop making the coaches mad). Iowa does have the edge with its tight ends though.

Recap:
In summary, Iowa's offense is more experience on the line, at running back, and especially at quarterback. Also, trending off of 2008, Iowa has the potential to be more balanced, score more points, run the ball better, and have a more efficient passing game.

Defense:
On defense, both teams return 8 starters from 2008 including 2 linemen, all 3 linebackers, and 3 in the secondary. However, the caliber of returnees is quite different. In 2008 Iowa led Michigan State in almost every defensive statistical category. Just to name some of the major ones: points per game (13 to 22.1), rush yards per game (94 to 142.5), pass yards per game (197.3 to 213.4), and total yards per game (291.3 to 355.8). The only real areas MSU was better than Iowa was on fourth down and in sacks.

Let's break this down by position. Along the defensive line Iowa and Michigan State have 2 returning starter. Iowa's are junior defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard, Michigan State's are senior DE Trevor Anderson and junior DT Oren Wilson. Clayborn and Anderson are the stars of their respective lines. Anderson may be a little flashier with his 8 sacks, but Clayborn was more consistent and had 20 more tackles. For the other linemen, Iowa has the edge…Ballard is a much better returnee than Wilson and Karl Klug will be an experienced first time starter.

Linebacker is the strength of both the Hawkeye's and Spartan's defense. Iowa has 3 very good linebackers in Pat Angerer, A.J. Edds, and Jerimiha Hunter. Michigan State also returns 3 good starters in Greg Jones, Adam Decker, and Eric Gordon, but they are mixing some things up this year. Brandon Denson has jumped Adam Decker and Jones is moving inside to the MIKE position. It will be interesting to see the effects these changes have. Regardless, Jones has star potential and like Angerer will be the leader of the defense. Where Iowa is slightly better though is with Edds and Hunter. Both have lots of experience and are very disruptive against the pass and run.

Finally, in the secondary, again, both team return the same number of starters. Michigan State loses its best player Otis Wiley, while the Hawkeyes still have its best player Amari Spievey. Spievey will be a shut down corner, something the Spartans do not have. Additionally, Iowa's secondary has a knack for interceptions, especially with Tyler Sash, while MSU is better at breaking up passes.

Recap:
Honestly, after comparing the two defenses position by position they look pretty even with Iowa having a slight edge. But when you put the whole thing together, Iowa defense just works better than just about any in the country. I'll give credit to Norm Parker for that.

Special Teams:
I don't have much to say about special teams. Both teams return their place kicker and punter, though MSU loses it's kick off guy. Ryan Donahue for Iowa is the better punter and Brett Swenson for Michigan State is probably a better place kicker than Murray or Mossbrucker (though it's close). Both teams were mediocre in the return game and in kick coverage so I'll say it's a wash there. Hopefully Iowa will get a boost in the return game from incoming freshman Brandon Wegher, but only time will tell.

Other Factors:
Though Iowa and Michigan State had identical records in 2008 (9-4), the Hawkeye's 4 losses were by a combined 12 points while the Spartan's were by 88. Also, Iowa has the momentum coming into the 2009 season as in the final 7 games of 2008, Iowa was 6-1; MSU was 4-3 (and 0-2 in the last 2).

Conclusion:
I just don't see how people can think Michigan State will be better than Iowa this year. There are only two arguments I can buy. First, that MSU has an easier schedule than Iowa and will therefore have a better record. And second, Iowa has to travel to East Lansing where it has struggled in recent history. While both of those are valid, I think this is the year Iowa will win in Spartan Stadium and I think Michigan State will have a very tough time with the stretch of games @Notre Dame, @Wisconsin, vs. Michigan, @Illinois, vs. Northwestern, vs. Iowa, and @Minnesota. I think they go 4-3 in those 7 games and they still have Penn State left on the schedule. So anyway, this was a long post...but the Hawkeyes will be better than the Spartans.

Links For Iowa - July 22, 2009

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Iowa Related

Kids at Kinnick set for August 15
Kids day will be the public's first chance to see the 2009 Iowa Football team in person as there was no spring game this year. It's also our first chance to see the new FieldTurf up close.

Ferentz versus Fry
Here's an interesting post about how Ferentz compares to Fry over the first 10 years of their respective careers. Conclusion: Ferentz and Fry have a pretty similar resume but Ferentz doesn't have a Rose Bowl birth and has struggled against Iowa State.

Hall of Ferentz: the links
Here are the links to every Hall of Ferentz story by Marc Morsehouse.

Not even college football related

Same-name couple to wed after Facebook meeting
I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Hildebrandt... This is so weird on so many levels. Yeah, it's great they found love and all, but on Facebook after she type her own name in the search box?

Google Trends #100

Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirate's Brandon Moss had a walk-off home-run today against the Brewers so the Pittsburghians are pretty excited and searching up their favorite team.

Links For Iowa - July 20, 2009

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Iowa Related

Varsity Numbers - College Rushers according to POE
These statistics are too hard for me to explain let alone understand, but it's just another way to prove Shonn Greene was really good. And, even more interesting it shows how average Javon Ringer really was. Both these things we Hawkeye fans already knew, but now there are some fancy stats to back it up.

Ferentz signs contract through 2015
No real news here. We knew Coach Ferentz and the university had reached a deal a few months ago, but now it's all official as President Sally Mason signed the contract on Friday. I'm not sure what took so long as Ferentz and Barta signed it back in June. Anyway, Marc Morehouse posted the actual contract and it is kind of interesting to read though. One item in the contract is if/when Iowa wins the national championship this year, Ferentz would get a half-million dollar bonus. Also, here are some of the duties that Ferentz has as head football coach: teach the mechanics and techniques of football to team members; coach student-athletes, analyze performances, and instruct student-athletes in areas of deficiency; require exemplary citizenship of student-athletes; recruit talented student-athletes for the Football program who will be committed students and exemplary citizens; and participate in radio and television coaches programs in conjunction with media partners.

At least it's college football related

Penn State Receiver Charge with DUI
So Iowa's not the only one with problems. Obviously all around the country college kids make mistakes. This one probably won't hurt Penn State as James McDonald only has 6 career catches, but the Nittany Lions did lose the 3 starting receivers from 2008 and could use some depth at the position.

Kurt Wermers to transfer from Michigan
This is a weird situation. A few days ago it was announced that Wermers was transferring and he had all sort of bad things to say about the Michigan coaching staff (not the first time we've heard bad things). Now we find out he was academically ineligible to play at Michigan anyway. So that clouds up his whole reason behind leaving...was it the un-familial environment or the flunking out of school?

Google Trends #100

Lamar Odom News
While 1-99 were pretty much all Erin Andrews related (no comment), #100 on the list today was "Lamar Odom News". I'm pretty sure there has been a lack of news on Odom as he didn't get signed back on with the Lakers and still hasn't found any other team.

Mark your calendar

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Here are a few things to look forward to while we wait for the football season to start.

The 37th Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl Game - July 25 (7:00 PM)
The Shrine Bowl Game pits the best recent high school graduates from Iowa against each other before the kids go off to college. If you are dying to see some live football, tickets are only $10 and the money goes to a good cause. If you can't make it out to Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, the Mediacom Connections Channel (22) is showing the game on tape delay Sunday at 4:00 PM. It'll be a good opportunity to see some of the incoming freshman in action. The list of future Hawkeyes include: Drew Clark, Wyatt Suess, Brett Van Sloten, Dominic Alvis, Jordan Cotton, Matt Murphy, and Marcus Kloos.

2009 Big Ten Media Days - July 27 - 28
After the long off season we'll finally get the chance to hear from some coaches and players. It'll be a lot of coach-speak and inconsequential questions and answer sessions, but it means football is almost here. Representing Iowa will be Pat Angerer, A.J. Edds, and Tony Moeaki. If you want to follow the media days, there will be plenty of coverage provided by the Big Ten Network and of course I'll post any of my thoughts here.

First Practice and Media Day - August 7
Though the free lunch has been cut from the media day activities I’m still hopefull that we'll get some solid stories from the attendees on August 7. The official site usually does a good job covering the event posting quotes, pictures, and sometimes audio and video. The worst though, are those atrocious posed pictures (remember the jumping o-linemen?). The day also marks the first day of practice and the start of the 2009 football season. It's really less than 3 weeks away, then just a month after that until the season kicks off against UNI.

The Iowa State Fair - August 13 - 23
So the state fair isn't exactly Iowa Football related, but you can at least go and pick up your 2009 schedule poster to hang in your cubicle at work. You can also see Kelly Clarkson, participate in the mullet contest, see the butter cow (no MJ though…), and sample on 45 different food items on-a-stick.

Iowa - Iowa State Tickets

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The Iowa State athletic department has a new deal...for $99 you can get Cyclone tickets to games against Iowa, North Dakota State, and Colorado. This is much less desperate than the Applebees mini pack from last year. Just the rivalry game was priced at $92. So that makes the North Dakota State and Colorado games $3.50 a piece. I don't think it gets much cheaper than that.

The mini game package is available because Iowa returned 1,200 tickets back to Iowa State. It's kind of surprising to me considering last year Kinnick was sold out for this game. Though, you can purchase tickets to games against Northwestern or Minnesota (much more important games) for only $52 dollars, so I can understand why Hawkeye fans didn't want to dish out the extra $40 to sit in Jack Trice Stadium.

It will be interesting to see how this impacts ticket sales and ultimately the gate receipt. Iowa and Iowa State have a deal that the visitor gets 20% of the revenue from this game. For last year's game, Iowa State got a check for $616,383.48. That's nearly twice as much than the $330,389 Iowa received for playing in Ames in 2007. I suspect that the pay check for Iowa this year will be even worse. What a bad deal Iowa got itself into. At least the contract is changing. I believe starting in 2013, the home team will get to keep the money from the ticket sales.

Links For Iowa - July 17, 2009

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Iowa Related

Jeff Brinson Primed For Bigger Role
Wow! Brinson ran for 1.985 yards his senior season. That's almost 2 whole yards. And who is this Jules Hampton? Okay, I'll give the guy a break. I'm sure he doesn't follow Iowa football too much down in Florida. Anyway, there are some good quotes from Brinson and I'm excited to see him play this fall.

McNutt excited about position change
Another article about a player from a local newspaper...this one is on Marvin McNutt. It reiterates what we've been hearing for a while, moving to receiver is a great move for McNutt and he is expected to do good things at his new position.

At least it's college football related

Camp Randall liable for cameraman's death
I had never heard about this before, but apparently before the 2003 Iowa at Wisconsin match up (where Sean Considine broke up John Stocco's pass in the end zone to end the game and preserve a 27-21 victory) a cameraman from ABC was setting up his camera on a platform slipped, and fell to his death.

Not even college football related

Cedar Rapids - The Movie
The very funny Ed Helms is going to star in a new movie called Cedar Rapids. I believe the premiss is the Helms is an insurance salesman that goes to an insurance convention in Cedar rapids and hilarity ensues. The Hlog chimes in on this new movie too and BHGP give a unique take on the movie.

Google Trends #100

Lancaster Barnstormers
The Lancaster Barnstormers are a baseball team and are not nearly as cool as the Iowa Barnstormers, a football team with an awesome helmet (they have printed on goggles...on the helmets).

Iowa Commits on YouTube

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I scoured YouTube today for videos of the current 2010 Iowa football commits. I wasn't able to find videos for everyone, but did uncover a few highlight reels and a few interviews. I am really excited about this class so far. I've never really followed recruiting closely before, but with all the talented guys the Hawks are picking up, it's hard not to be captivated. Anyway, here's the videos I found.

QB/TE/ATH Austin Vier -


OT Andrew Donnal -


MLB Austin Gray -


DE Louis Trinca-Pasat -


OLB James Moris -

Links For Iowa - July 16, 2009

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Sorry I haven't done one these in a few days. I've been sick with a fever and sore throat and so I haven't been online as much. Anyway, I'll try to get you all caught up today. There have been a few good articles on individual players in the last couple of days.

Iowa Related

ESPN - Consistency the next step for Stanzi
This is a nice little article about Stanzi. I think we all already knew that consistency from Stanzi is the key to Iowa's success this year.

Big Future for Bulaga
Did you know Bryan Bulaga's favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip? Mine is moose tracks with those little peanut butter cups. Anyway, there are more interesting facts about Bulaga and some talk about him turning pro after this year. Shonn Greene thinks it's a good idea and that Bulaga would do great in the NFL. I'm still hoping he sticks around as the offensive line is already losing enough after this season.

Getz finds a familiar college roomie
Incoming freshman Dakota Getz is currently living with John Wienke. The two know each other from high school, playing in the same conference in Illinois. (Side note: check out the helmets for Getz's high school…look familiar?)

At least it's college football related

Stewart Mandel > COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG
Mandel talks a little about how defensive are adapting to be smaller and quicker to defend the spread. In doing so, they are becoming more susceptible to the power-run, pro-style offenses. That's exactly what I like to hear. In the Big Ten, as more teams move to the spread, and more defenses try to defend it, it gives me hope that Iowa can come in and just plow over them with a power running attack.

Google Trends #100

Mabinogi Wiki
Mabinogi is some crazy massive multiplayer online role-playing game like World of Warcraft, or all those other nerdy games. It looks like it's got a kind of anime spin on the whole thing. So I guess it is picking up in popularity. It's probably better than that Evony game that I constantly see ads for on this blog.

A couple of smart Hawkeyes

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Two Hawkeye football players have earned the Distinguished Scholar Award for maintaining a 3.7 GPA or better during the previous year. Center Josh Koeppel and placekicker Daniel Murray were the 2 Iowa football players awarded. In all, The University of Iowa had 37 student-athletes receive the award. Below is a full list of football nerds, I mean scholars, from each school in the Big Ten. I was expecting Northwestern to top the list, but actually Penn State comes out the winner with 7 Distinguished Scholars.

SchoolScholars
Illinois1
Indiana1
Iowa2
Michigan3
Michigan State3
Minnesota4
Northwestern4
Ohio State6
Penn State7
Purdue1
Wisconsin4

Spotlight on: Andrew Schulze

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Andrew Schulze is probably the least known first team player off of the Hawkeye Football depth chart. However, he plays a position absolutely vital to the success of the team. Schulze is the long snapper. In 2008 he handled every deep snap on special teams including punts, PATs, and field goals. Impressively, he was near perfect with not a single snap fumbled or kick not attempted.

High School:
Andrew Schulze attended Downers Grove South High School in Woodridge, IL. As a Mustang, Schulze played defensive end and tight end. His senior year, he helped lead the team to a 8-3 overall record, good for second place in the West Suburban (Gold) Conference and a state playoff birth. Schulze’s play earned him First Team All-Conference honors. Schulze played baseball in high school as a pitcher and catcher.

You can see pictures of Schulze in action for the Mustangs here and here and here. Look for number 88.

College:
Schulze was not really recruited at all. He came to Iowa as a walk-on in 2006 and redshirted his freshman year. To start 2007 Schulze was still not listed on the depth chart but quickly propelled to the starter as the long snapper for PATs and field goals in the second game of the year against Syracuse after the incumbent long snapper, Clint Huntrods, was dismissed for, according to the old BHGP, being too awesome (i.e. urinating in public). Anyway, Schulze embraced his chance to play and handled the deep snaps on PATs and field goals for the remainder of the season.

Last season, Schulze solidified himself as the starting long snapper and took over the responsibility on punts as well. As mentioned before, he snapped the ball on every punt, PAT, and field without a single errant snap. That is 51 punts, 47 PATs, and 24 field goal attempts without a mistake. He was a key to the success to the 96% PAT success rate and 79% on field goals. He was also an important piece of winning field goal against Penn State (though the snap was slightly high, it was still easily handled by Donahue).

So, for the upcoming 2009 season watch out for Andrew Schulze and don't be surprised when you see every long snap right on the money into Donahue hands.

Commit #10 fo 2010 - Andrew Donnal

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The Iowa Hawkeyes picked up another offensive lineman today. Andrew Donnal verbally committed to play for the Hawkeyes and is the tenth player to do so for the 2010 class. Donnal is a highly ranked offensive tackle out of Whitehouse, Ohio. His 4 star rating on Rivals is better than any of the other Iowa commits thus far for 2010.

High School:
Andrew Donnal attends Anthony Wayne High School. In 2008, the Generals went 5-5 in the Northern Lakes League. The pinnacle moment of the season was an astounding 5 overtime game against the Clay Eagles that the Generals ended up winning.

As a junior Donnal played tackle on offense and defense. It was his second year starting at offensive tackle and his play earned him First Team All-Conference honors. I couldn't find any meaningful statistics on Donnal's play, but found that he ran a 4.91 forty at the Ohio State junior camp this summer. That is pretty quick for a 6'7" 280 pound lineman. In his highlight video you can see his quickness and strength on both sides of the ball. On offense he was an absolute force as a run blocker. He consistently pushed back the defender 5 yards off the line of scrimmage leaving the running back big wholes. On defense he often was in the backfield knocking down passes or getting the sack. He even blocked a couple of kicks.

Donnal has also been a standout as a center in basketball and in the shot put and discus on the track team.

Quick Glance:
OT Andrew Donnal - Whitehouse, Ohio
Recruiting:
Rivals4*, #16 OT
Scout3*, #33 OT
Other SchoolsMichigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois
Stats:
Size6'7", 280 lbs
40 Time4.91 sec
Bench305 lbs

Links For Iowa - July 11, 2009

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Iowa Related

Iowa Hawkeyes 2009 College Football Odds
Point-Spreads.com puts the over/under on the Hawkeyes at 8 wins. If I were a betting man I would take over. They put the odds for Iowa to win the Big Ten at +500 and for Iowa to win it all at +6600.

Jewel Hampton is just glad to know you care
Nothing new here. As we found out yesterday Jewel Hampton will not require surgery and will play the first week of the season. I just thought the headline was funny.

Iowa adds Missouri State to the schedule for 2013
A few days ago I was announced that Iowa would be playing Hayden Fry's old school North Texas in 2015 and 2017. Now, Missouri State has been added to the schedule. The Bears will visit Kinnick Stadium in 2013. Iowa's future non-conference opponents are:

2010 - Eastern Illinois, Iowa State, Arizona, and Ball State
2011 - Iowa State and Pittsburgh
2012 - Northern Iowa and Iowa State
2013 - Missouri State and Iowa State
2014 - Northern Iowa, Ball State, Iowa State, and Pittsburgh
2015 - North Texas, Iowa State, and Pittsburgh


Google Trends #100

16 Blocks
16 Blocks is some suspenseful action crime drama from 2006 . I've never seen it, let alone heard of it, but it has Mos Def in one of the leading roles, so it can't be bad, right?

Injury Updates - Jewel Hampton and Erin Andrews

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No surgery for Hampton
Okay, so the collective Hawkeye fan base might have blown things slightly out of proportion (me included). Today, Gary Dolphin announced on the radio that Kirk Ferentz told him Jewel Hampton does not need surgery and will be ready to play for the first game of the year against UNI. This is very good news. Besides Hampton, there is basically no experienced running back on Iowa's roster. The question now will be whether or not Hampton will be the starter on day 1, or if the coaches will try to ease him back in. Either way, lets be thankful this happened in the summer and he has plenty of time to recover.

In other injury news....

Erin Andrews Hit By Foul Ball
I think I'm a day late on this, but everyone's favorite sideline reporter Erin Andrews was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Mets player Alex Cora. Apparently she had to go to the hospital and everything after taking a baseball square in the chin. Reports today are that she's okay, so we can all sigh with relief.

Links For Iowa - July 10, 2009

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Iowa Related

Maize n Brew covers the Hawkeyes
The gentlemen over at Maize n Brew debate about the 2009 Hawkeyes. They allude to Drew Tate, are still hung up on the 1997 Tim Dwight punt return, and are tired of hearing about the pink locker-room (aren't we all).

Iowa adds North Texas to the schedule 2015 and 2017
Iowa will host two home games against North Texas in 2015 and 2017. The Mean Green (an awesome name) were a whopping 1-11 last year. This series continues Iowa's recent trend to play school with ties to the coaching staff (Maine was Ferentz's old digs, Mike Stoops is the coach at Arizona, etc...) as Hayden Fry was the coach of North Texas before taking over at Iowa.

On Iowa - Hall of Ferentz
Marc Morehouse is doing a series about the best players at each position in the Ferentz era. It's worth checking out.

At least it's college football related

Fiedorowicz picks Illinois
“Right when I got there, I met with five coaches and they all seemed like guys I would have a good time with,” Fiedorowicz said. Sounds like Zook is at it again. Befriended the recruits. Oh well...I was hoping Iowa would land this guy, but good luck to him at Illinois.

Google Trends #100

Carmen Electra Crazy Horse
Apparently Carmen Electra went crazy in Crazy Horse appearing topless in the Vegas gentleman's club. I'm guessing that people were probably trying to find pictures.

Single game tickets now on sale to the public

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Single game tickets for the 2009 Hawkeye Football season are now on sale to the general public. So if you aren't a season ticket holder or haven't donated a bunch of money, you're time has come. Go on over to hawkeyesports.com and purchase your tickets. All the home game are available except the homecoming game against Michigan. A ticket to the Arizona game will cost you $65, but the rest are just $52.

I just bought my tickets to the Arizona game. Section 107, Row 11, Seats 17-18. See you there!

Links For Iowa - July 8, 2009

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I took yesterday off on Links For Iowa, so there are quite a few today. There have been quite a few stories out there on Jewel Hampton, but we still don't know much.

Iowa Related

Hlog - Look on the Bright Side
Mike Hlas thinks it could have been much worse than the injury to Jewel Hampton. What if Bulaga, Angerer, Spievey, Donahue, or Stanzi got hurt? Imagine the meltdown then.

Des Moines Register - Hampton jogs up stairs
Apparently Jewel Hampton is okay enough to jog up a small flight of stairs. While this certainly does not mean he is going to be making cut backs and dodging linebackers any time soon, it's definitely not a bad sign.

ESPN - Practice begins August 7
Andy Rittenberg is reporting that the fall Iowa Football practice officially begins on August 7, 2009. That's only 30 days away! The first practice coninsides with Media Day so there should be plenty of things to talk about.

Big Ten Media Day Attendees
The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon is just 3 weeks away. On July 28th 3 Hawkeyes will make the trip to Chicao to meet with the media. Pat Angerer, A.J. Edds, and Tony Moeaki will represent Iowa Football at the luncheon.

Not even college football related

Google Announces Google Chrome OS
So if you couldn't already tell, I'm a Google fan. For this site, I use blogger, AdSense, Google Analytics, have a GMail account, etc… Well last night, Google announced that they are getting in the opperating system game. They are trying to "re-think what operating systems should be" and make an operating system for "people who live on the web." That sounds good to me!

Google Trends #100

405 Fire
A brush fire near the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles. It's led to a large evacuation. So all you Californians that read this blog (there have been about a dozen hits from the LA area), watch out.

Recruiting Needs - Offense Edition

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I wrote about Iowa's recruiting needs for the defense last week. Since then, the need at linebacker has strengthened with the Jacody Coleman transfer, but the defense is still in good shape with 7 players already committing for the 2010 class. The offense, on the contrary, has but one lonely commit, QB/TE/Ath Austin Vier.

The Offensive Line

Current Situation:
5 Seniors - C Rafael Eubanks, OT Kyle Calloway*, OG Andy Kuempel, OG Dan Doering, OG Dace Richardson
4 Juniors - OG Julian Vandervelde**, C Josh Koeppel, OG Kyle Haganman, OT Bryan Bulaga
3 Sophomores - OT Markus Zusvics, OL Tyrel Detweiler, OG Adam Gettis
4 RS Freshman - C James Ferentz, OL Matt Tobin, OT Casey McMillan, OT Riley Reiff
4 Freshman - OG Drew Clark, OT Nolan MacMillan, OT Matt Murphy, OT Brett Van Sloten

This is a very veteran group along the offensive line. Of the projected starters for week 1, only one player, Markus Zusvics, is not an upper classman. And, once Kyle Calloway has done his time for the moped incident, that'll be one more senior starter. The good news, is that the Hawkeyes are very deep on the line. Once Vandervelde is back from his injury he should be a starter for this year and next. And hopefully Bulaga will stay for his senior season despite the high NFL draft projections he is receiving.

2010 Commits:
OT Brandon Scherff - Denison, IA

As I was writing this post, the announcement that Brandon Scherff is going to be a Hawkeye was divulged. So, I added him to the 2010 commits list. Though Scherff has played quarterback and tight end in high school put projects as an offensive tackle at 6'6" 300 pounds.

Notable Other Possibilities:
OT Andrew Donnal - Whitehouse, OH
OT Seantrel Henderson - Saint Paul, MN

The most likely on this list for Iowa to land is Andrew Donnal. Donnal has said that there is a 75% chance he will be a Hawkeye and favors Iowa heavily over any other school. The last name to follow is Seantrel Henderson. If you following recruiting at all, you've already heard of him. He's the number 1 player in all the land. He has been heavily recruited around the country but especially around the Midwest. Given Iowa's knack for developing lineman, there's definitely a chance.

Neediness:
Medium/High - 3 to 4 solid commits would be good and I fully expect we land them

There is a good distributions of players in each class (about 4 in each) and another 4 or so would be good for this class. Next year should be fine as long as Bulaga stays around and the years after that look okay too. With the Vandervelde injury and the Calloway suspension, that should help some of the younger guys get meaningful game experience as well. With Sherff on board and Donnal close, just 1 or 2 more guys would make this an excellent class.

Quarterback

Current Situation:
1 Junior - Ricky Stanzi
2 RS Freshman - John Winke, James Vandenberg
1 Freshman - Wyatt Suess

There are not a lot of QBs on the roster and none with backup experience. But the Hawkeyes are set at quarterback for the next 4 years barring injury. You don't need a crystal ball to predict that Ricky Stanzi will start this year and next, then the winner of the Winke/Vandenberg battle will start the next 2 years going out to 2012. Wyatt Suess is walking on the team this fall. He's a good athlete and is very open to switching positions.

2010 Commits:
QB/TE/Ath Austin Vier - Huxley, IA

Austin Vier will get his chance at QB when he arrives in Iowa City. He'll need to work on his passing ability his senior year of high school, though, if he wants to compete at Iowa. As a junior he completed just 48.3% of his passes and had twice as many interceptions as touchdowns. If he doesn't work out at QB he'll likely see time at tight end.

Notable Other Possibilities:
QB/Ath A.J. Derby - Iowa City, IA
QB Hutson Mason - Marietta, GA (high on iowa)

A.J. Derby is supposedly the next Tim Tebow...a big pass/run threat at QB. This hometown kid would be a good to get for Iowa, but it sounds like he is keeping his options open. Hutson Mason may be a more likely pickup by the Hawkeyes. Right now, Mason has a strong predilection for Iowa, and the Hawkeyes are at the top of his list. Mason would also be a great complement to the 2010 class. As a junior he completed 70% of his passes for 3,705 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Neediness:
Low/Medium - another QB would be nice to have

Though a quarterback likely wouldn't have a chance to start until his senior year, it would be good to get another commit in the 2010 class. Another multifaceted player that could switch positions, like Suess or Vier, would be ideal.

Running Back

Current Situation:
1 Senior - FB Bryce Griswold
3 Juniors - RB Jayme Murphy, RB Paki O'Meara, FB Brett Morse
2 Sophomores - RB Jewel Hampton***, FB Wade Leppert
2 RS Freshman - RB Jason White, RB Jeff Brinson
5 Freshman - RB Brandon Wegher, RB Adam Robinson, RB Jacob Reisen, FB Shane DiBona, RB Brad Rogers

Okay, I think I got everyone. The stable of backs is very young. There are 4 upper classman, but only the fullback, Brett Morse, is likely to start, though Paki may get some early reps. With all the true freshman, it's likely that most will redshirt. Brandon Wegher will definitely see time on special teams, and if Jewel's injury is bad, then Wegher could see some meaningful time in the backfield. Anyway, between Hampton, Brinson, and Wegher Iowa should be set a running back for a while. At fullback, Leppert also saw plenty of time last year and should be able to hold the starting spot after Morse graduates.

2010 Commits:
None

Notable Other Possibilities:
RB Andre Dawson - Cedar Rapids, IA
RB DeAndre Johnson -Miami, FL

Andre Dawson was teammates with Keenan Davis and Wyatt Suess. Hopefully those guys are pushing Dawson hard towards Iowa. He has scored 40 touchdowns in his career and still has his senior year to go. DeAndre Johnson has Iowa as his favorite right now. He averaged over 7 yards a carry last year and is starting to get offers from some bigger schools.

Neediness:
Low - 1 or 2 running backs is all we need and a fullback wouldn't hurt

There are plenty of young backs for the Hawkeyes right now, so there is not really an immediate need. However, we all know that having depth is important, especially at running back (see Iowa Football, 2005). I think given the large number of backs right now, as some of the young guys establish themselves we may see some movement to other positions. Adam Robinson has already tried out DB and Shane DiBona has been mentioned as a candidate for linebacker. This would leave some room for a very good back to come in and get some playing time in a couple of years.

Tight End

Current Situation:
2 Seniors - Kyle Spading, Tony Moeaki
2 Juniors - Allen Reisner, Tyler Gerstandt
2 Sophomores - Brad Herman, Zach Furlong
2 RS Freshman - J.D. Griggs, Jonathan Gimm
2 Freshman - Connor Boffeli, Dakota Getz

I thought the offensive line was really balanced, but look at tight end. It's 2 a year, every year. The main guys on the roster this year will be Tony Moeaki and Allen Reisner. Since Iowa likes their 3 TE sets more than probably any other team, it's likely Brad Herman or maybe J.D. Griggs will see time as the thrid tight end. The depth looks good at here, though recently incoming freshman Anthony Schiavone decided to transfer, and it's likely that Connor Boffeli will move to the offensive line. So, the freshman class is somewhat lacking.

2010 Commits:
QB/TE/Ath Austin Vier - Huxley, IA

With 3 or 4 quarterbacks likely in front of Vier, he may move right over to tight end. He did play receiver his sophomore year in high school so this could be a good option for him.

Notable Other Possibilities:
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz - Johnsburg, IL
TE Jarrett Darmstatter - Barnegat, NJ

C.J. Fiedorowicz is the tight end everybody wants. Right now Iowa is competing with Illinois and Wisconsin for C.J. Given Iowa's tradition for putting tight ends in the NFL, I would advise him to give the Hawkeyes a shot. Jarrett Darmstatter is another possibility at tight end. Darmstatter has offers from the likes of Rutgers, Syracuse, Louisville, Purdue, Michigan State, and Florida State in addition to Iowa.

Neediness:
Medium - 1 more tight end would be good

Iowa is particularly deep at tight end right now. I believe the Hawkeyes have more tight ends on their roster than any other team in the Big Ten (but don't quote me on that!). If Austin Vier ends up at tight end, then 1 more 2010 commit would suffice.

Wide Receiver

Current Situation:
1 Senior - Trey Stross
6 Juniors - Don Nordmann, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Nick Kuchel, Colin Sandeman, Paul Chaney, Jr., Ben Evans
3 Sophomores - Marvin McNutt, Kyle Steinbrecher, Brain Mungongo
2 RS Freshman - James Hurt, Steven Staggs
4 Freshman - Keenan Davis, Jordan Cotton, Stephane Ngoumou, Josh Brown

There are a lot of receivers on the 2009 roster, but also a lot of questions. I've picked Trey Stross and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos as my projected starters, but it could just as easily be Colin Sandeman and Marvin McNutt. Though Iowa won't use many 5 receiver sets, more won't use any 5 receiver sets, but still expect 6 or so guys to see the field. Though it may look like the position will be hurting in 2 years after the large junior class graduates, I expect big things out of the incoming freshman. Keenan Davis is the most refined right now, but with a couple years with instruction from Coach Campbell under the belt, this class will shine.

2010 Commits:
None

Notable Other Possibilities:
Matt Milton - Mascoutah, IL
Shakim Phillips - Wayne, NJ
Corey Redder - Pemberton, NJ

Of the 3 receivers I listed, I think Iowa has the best shot landing Corey Redder. Iowa is the only school that has currently offered him a scholarship and is in his top 2 with Maryland as his other choice. Matt Milton has Iowa behind Tennesee and Illinois and Shakim Phillips is looking more towards the east coast/south with teams like Tennessee and Georgia. But we're on their lists, so let's cross our fingers.

Neediness:
Medium - 1 to 3 receivers are needed

Iowa doesn't need to land any 4 or 5 star receivers, but getting a couple of hardworking guys that can develop over the next couple of years is important. I would expect any incomer to redshirt a year, but there is definitely the possibility of seeing playing time in 2011 when Stross, DJK, Sandeman, and Chaney are no longer on the team.

Projected starters in bold.
*Calloway will miss at least the first game with a suspension after the moped incident.
**Vandervelde has undergone surgery and will likely miss a few games at the beginning of the season.
***Who really knows about Jewel Hampton's injury. If it's a torn ACL he could redshirt this year, if it's not so bad he may only miss a couple of games.

Commit #9 for 2010 - Brandon Scherff

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The 2010 recruiting class added its second offensive player today with a verbal commitment from offensive tackle Brandon Scherff($). Scherff is the ninth player overall to commit for the Hawkeyes for 2010 and is the fourth in-state. Scherff is rated 3 stars by both Scout and Rivals and is from Denison, IA.

High School:
Brandon Scherff goes to Denison High School. They go by the Monarchs, but the school emblem has a big lion on it. The Monarchs had a mediocre 4-5 season last year. Scherff did get to play against incoming freshman Brandon Wegher of Heelan and recent commit Matt Hoch of Harlan (both games were losses for Scherff and the Monarchs).

As a junior, Scherff lined up at quarterback on offense. Keep in mind the kid is 6'6" 300 pound (you can see pictures of him playing here…check out #10). His stats as a quarterback are not very good. He completed just 18 of 73 passes for 175 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That equates to a QB rating of about 53. But, he'll be playing on the line, so let's not worry too much about that. Scherff also played tight end some and caught 11 passes for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Scherff was a defensive lineman, a position he was much better at than quarterback. He had 47 tackles including 1 for loss in the Monarch's 9 games. His efforts landed him Class 3-A Second Team honors by the Iowa Newspaper Association.

In high school, in addition to football, Scherff played basketball. He averaged 10.6 point, 8.0 rebound, 1.1 assists, and 1.0 block per game as a junior. He also has excelled in the shot put and discuss. He won the 3A title in shot put as a sophomore before getting beat by incoming freshman Drew Clark in 2008. Scherff is also a pitcher on the Monarchs baseball team.

Quick Glance:
OT Brandon Scherff - Denison, Iowa
Recruiting:
Rivals3*, #41 OT
Scout3*, #37 OT
Other SchoolsIowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska
Stats:
Size6'6", 300 lbs

A new look

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I've spent some time to update the look of this site. Hopefully it is a little easier to read and looks nicer. If there's anything you don't like, I'm open to suggestions and you can shoot me an email at fight4iowa@gmail.com. I optimized the site for 1024x768 resolution or better (sorry 800x600 users), but anyone should have no problem reading it. I've tested it in Firefox 3.5 and IE 7, so if it looks goofy in another browser, again let me know.

UPDATE: I noticed that the new format was not working too well with old Internet Explorer so I made a couple of changes and hopefully it looks better for those of you stuck with IE 6 or worse.

Links For Iowa - July 6, 2009

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Iowa Related

Ferentz comments on Jacody Coleman, Julian Vandervelde
Kirk Ferentz wishes Jacody Coleman the best of luck as he transfers from Iowa. Ferentz also states that Julian Vandervelde did in fact have surgery as a result of an injury. The hope is that Vandervelde is back early in the season though he may miss some playing time. No mention on Jewel Hampton from the coach though.

On Iowa - Hampton Update
Marc Morehouse has a little bit more info on Hampton. Knee injury - confirmed; Severity - unknown; MRI - today; Golden Harvest - what's the Golden Harvest?...I'll have to do some digging. It's not really much of an updated, but hopefully we will know more soon.

Press-Citizen - Hawks amp up early recruiting
This is a pretty long read, but it interesting. The Iowa Football coaching staff is taking a more aggressive approach to early recruiting and it is paying off.

At least it's college football related

CNN Money - Playoffs = $$$$
According to CNN Money, a college football playoff could mean big bucks for cable companies. ESPN already inked a huge deal with the BCS. Kirk Ferentz is also mentioned in the article so go ahead and read it.

Not even college football related

Lance Armstrong in 3rd
Since I mentioned Tiger Woods and Roger Federer over the weekend while they both once again were victorious, I decided to throw in a link to another dominant athlete, Lance Armstrong. Coming back from retirement Armstrong is currently in third place in the Tour de France.

Google Trends #100

Houdini's Death
How did Harry Houdini die? Good question...it was a mysterious death, but ultimately it was from a punch to the stomach.

Links For Iowa - July 5, 2009

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Iowa Related

On Iowa - This seems like a good time for a rerun
Reread some old posts on some of the other running backs written by Marc Morehouse. Hopefully Jewel Hampton's injury is minor, but in any case we'll likely be seeing a lot more of Brinson, O'Meara, and Wegher this fall.

HawkeyeSpots.com - Football Tickets go on Sale on Monday
Here's the story on the single game tickets from the official site. As I posted the other day, general public tickets go on sale Thursday, July 9 at 6:00 AM online and 9:00 AM at the ticket office. I'm planning on getting online right away on Thursday morning and picking up my tickets for the Arizona game.

Des Moines Register - Vote for the best Hawkeye ever
The Des Moines Register is have a tournament to determine the best Iowa Hawkeye football player ever. Some first round match ups include Nile Kinnick vs. Devon Mitchell and Tim Dwight vs. Craig Clemons. Should be an interesting tournament.

Not even college football related

Nashville mourns iron man Steve McNair
I still can't believe how many deaths have been in the news lately. The latest, former NFL MVP and Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair was shot and killed yesterday.

Federer Outlasts Roddick
Roger Federer does it again at Wimbledon for his 15th Grand Slam title. It took him 5 sets to fend off Andy Roddick. The fifth set went out to 30 games and finished 16-14.

Google Trends #100

Brearley School
I finally decided to split out my Google Trends link of the day. I couldn't figure out why people are searching for "brearley.' There is a school in New York City named Brearley. There is also a cricketer name Mike Brearley. Neither the school nor person seemed to have any news worthy events lately though.

Bad News (Rumors) - Jewel Hampton, Jacody Coleman

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I haven't seen anything official yet, but it's all over the message boards: Jewel Hampton badly injured his knee on Friday. Here's links to the story from Des Moines Register and from boards on Hawkeye Nation and Hawkeye Report. People are saying it's everything from a season ending torn ACL to a minor knee sprain.

Hampton was expected to be the successor to Shonn Greene this year and be the Hawkeyes go to guy in the running game. As a true freshman Hampton ran for 463 yards on 91 attempts and scored 7 touchdowns. He did suffer a minor injury during the spring, but it only slowed him down for a few days. This new injury leaves the door open for Jeff Brinson and incoming freshman Brandon Wegher, but neither back has even played a down in college. Paki O'Meara is the most experienced back, but was not expected to be the starter this year. I suspect if Hampton's injury really is serious, we will see all 3 of those guys splitting the load.

In other news, linebacker Jacody Coleman has decided to transfer. There was speculation earlier in the spring that he was going to leave but decided to stay and redshirt during the 2009 season. Coleman was stuck behind Pat Angerer on the depth chart, but figured to be the starter for 2010 and 2011. With his departure it makes the commitment of 3 linebackers in the 2010 class even more important. Though I wrote on Thursday that the "neediness" level for linebackers is low, however, Coleman's transfer hurts the depth at linebacker and another commitment at linebacker would definitely be helpful.

Anyway, that's all pretty bad news for the Fourth of July. At least there is only 9 weeks until football starts up again.

Links For Iowa - Independence Day!

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Happy Fourth of July to everyone! Hopefully you're having a nice weekend. The weather is kind of crappy here in central Iowa, but I still on planning to have some barbecue tonight. If the weather is too bad to get outside, at least the Iowa vs. Penn State game from last year is on the BTN this afternoon at 3:00.

Iowa Related

Gainseville Sun ranks Iowa #17
The Gainseville Sun in Florida is counting down to the top 25 teams and the Iowa Hawkeyes come in at #17. The paper says our strength is the experience on defense, weakness is the loss of Shonn Greene on offense, the star player is Pat Angerer, the rising star is Jewel Hampton, and the hardest game is playing at Ohio State.

Andrew Donnal 75% committed to Iowa ($)
Andrew Donnal from Whitehouse, OH has stated there's a 75% he'll end up a Hawkeye next year, but he's not ready to commit just yet. Donnal is an offensive tackle and is highly rated with 4 stats on Rivals and 3 on Scout.

At least it's college football related

Coaches play themselves in new movie
This is kind of cool. A new movie, The Blind Side, has a lot of big name coaches appearing as themselves. The movie is the story of Michael Oher. I think I saw a piece on ESPN's Outside the Lines one time.

Not even college football related

Elizabeth Town
Another 100th on Google Trends link here. Today, people are searching for "Elizabeth Town Movie." Again, this seems pretty random. I've never seen the movie, but it only got a 6.4/10 on IMDB so I'm not sure what the big deal is.

Links For Iowa - July 3, 2009

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Iowa Related

Ames Tribune - Black and gold suits Ballard quarterback Austin Vier
This is a good article about Iowa's only offensive commit so far, Austin Vier. It sounds like the kid is very excited to be a Hawkeye. He says, "I think Kinnick is one of the best stadiums in the nation. The fans are just awesome there." I'm glad to have him on board.

The Harlan Tribune - Matt Hoch commits to Hawkeye football
Another good article about recent Hawkeye commit. Matt Hoch, from Harlan, IA joined the 2010 recruiting class for Iowa last week. He was drawn to Iowa because of the coaching staff and particularly likes strength and conditioning coach, Chris Doyle.

At least it's college football related

Florida's arrests under Meyer
Much like Iowa, people love to focus on all the arrests at Florida. Former Gator Drew Miller gives us an insider's point of view on the situation.

Not even college football related

Tiger Woods - AT&T National
Roger Federer - Wimbledon
Both Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are cruising today. There's no question there are the two most dominate athletes at there sport right now. But who's the best? Plenty has been said already about this and really, who cares? It's just fun to watch these guys play.

To Die For Blueberry Muffins
In yesterday's Links For Iowa I posted about Bagel Heads as it was the 100th phrase on Google Trends. Today the 100th ranked phrase is "blueberry muffins." I like blueberry muffins, but I'm not sure why so many people are searching for them.

Recruiting Needs - Defense Edition

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Recruiting for the 2010 class is off to a great start of the Iowa Hawkeyes. There have already been 8 commits and I keep hearing rumblings about a few more that will be announced soon. The class is about half full already so I thought it would be a good time to take a lot at how recruiting is coming.

The Defensive Line

Current Situation:
1 Senior – DT Chad Geary*
4 Juniors – DE Christian Ballard, DT Cody Hundertmark, DE Adrian Clayborn, DT Karl Klug
4 Sophomores – DE Lebron Daniel, DT Thomas Nardo, DE Broderick Binns, DT Mike Daniels
3 RS Freshman – DT Steve Bigach, DE Jason Semmes, DE Joe Gaglione*
2 Freshman – DE Tyler Harrell, DE Scott Covert

The Hawkeyes look set on the defensive front for the next 2 years. All the starters from the upcoming season should be back for 2010. The defensive end position is particularly strong with juniors Christian Ballard and Adrian Clayborn and sophomore Broderick Binns.

2010 Commits:
DE Matt Hoch – Harlan, IA
DE Mike Hardy – Kimberly, WI
DE Luois Trinca-Pasat – Chicago , IL
DT Anthony Ferguson, Jr. – Baltimore, MD

The 2010 class already has 4 defensive lineman. With 3 ends, it’s likely that one will move inside to tackle. I think Mike Hardy at 6' 4", 255 lbs would be a good choice to make the move. He’s not as quick as Matt Hoch and Louis Trinca-Pasat doesn’t seem like a tackle to me.

Notable Other Possibilities:
DT Beau Allen - Minnetonka, MN
DT Bruce Gaston - Chicago, IL

Though there are 4 defensive line commits already I could see another tackle signing on. Beau Allen and Bruce Gaston are the highest rated by Scout that show interest in Iowa. Both sounds like they might be more interested in Notre Dame (boo...), but they live closer to Iowa City. Both are big guys, 6'2" pushing 300 lbs and would be a good addition to this class.

Neediness:
Low – at most 1 more DT commit

The defensive line looks pretty set for the next few years with the relatively young roster and the 4 commits. The Hawkeyes are better off at defensive end than tackle, but both position should be fine. I would be surprised if anyone from the 2010 class sees the field as a true freshman, but there should be some opportunities in 2011. By 2012, I fully expect to see a couple of these guys as starters.

The Linebackers

Current Situation:
2 Senior – MLB Pat Angerer, OLB A.J. Edds
4 Juniors – OLB Jeremiha Hunter, OLB Jeff Tarpinian, OLB Troy Johnson, MLB Jacody Coleman**
2 Sophomores – OLB Tyler Nielsen, LB Bruce Davis
1 RS Freshman – LB Cameron Olson
1 Freshman – LB Terrance Pryor, MLB Marty Hopkins

Iowa's linebacker corps is quite veteran. Two of the expected starters for 2009, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, will be seniors and the other, Jeremiha Hunter, will be a junior. After that though, there are not many linebackers in the waiting with only 2 sophomores and 2 freshman.

2010 Commits:
MLB Jim Poggi - Baltimore, MD
MLB Austin Gray - Warren, MI
OLB James Morris - Solon, IA

The 3 commits at linebacker are very exciting. It is expected that Jim Poggi will play on the outside, though Scout has him listed as a MLB. Poggi, along with Gray and Morris, all have had good high school careers so far and have made a lot of tackles (Poggi had 131 tackles last year).

Notable Other Possibilities:
OLB Ishmael Thomas - Detroit, MI
MLB Trey Millard - Columbia, MO

A fourth linebacker wouldn't hurt for the 2010 class, but there is not a whole lot out there. Ishmael Thomas has Iowa in his top 6 right now and Trey Millard sounds like a very versatile athlete that could help Iowa at linebacker or somewhere else.

Neediness:
Low – 1 more commit would be good, but not necessary

Though the linebacker position is mostly made up of juniors and seniors, the starting spots are fairly secure for the next 2 seasons. And, if Coleman does end up redshirting this year, then even 2011 looks okay. I fully expect Poggi, Morris, and Gray to see the field by then. I actually wouldn't be the bit surprised if at least 2 of them are on the 2-deeps next year.

The Defensive Backfield

Current Situation:
2 Senior – CB Chris Rowell, DB Taylor Herbst
5 Juniors – DB Justin Greiner, DB Jordan Bernstine, DB Amari Spievey, DB Joe Conklin, FS Brett Greenwood
4 Sophomores – SS Tyler Sash, DB Shaun Prater, SS David Cato, DB Tom Donatell
4 RS Freshman – DB Greg Castillo, DB Collin Sleeper, DB Nick Nielsen, FS Jack Swanson

Like the defensive line, the backfield should be set for 2009 and 2010. Three of the four starters are juniors and most of the second string guys are sophomores. However, in the 2009 class there were no real defensive backs so that could create some depth issues in the future.

2010 Commits:
None

Notable Other Possibilities:
S/DB James Manuel - Indianapolis, IN
S Isaiah Lewis - Indianapolis, IN

James Manuel attends Warren Central High School in Indianapolis and was teammates with current Hawkeye Jewel Hampton. Hopefully that connection can help sway Manuel towards Iowa. Isaiah Lewis is another player from Indianapolis and has Iowa near the top of his list.

Neediness:
High - a couple of capable defensive backs will be necessary

Cornerback and safety are the only positions that Iowa hasn't received a 2010 commit for on defense. While the starting 4 spots will probably not be available until 2011 and maybe even 2012, it will be important to get some guys in the program, especially considering the lack of DBs in the 2009 class. Also, with the larger amount of pass-happy teams in the Big Ten lately, Norm Parker has been throwing in more than 4 DBs at a time with some nickel and dime packages.


Projected starters in bold.
*Both Geary and Gaglione suffered injuries during the spring that may keep them out this year, so there is a possibility of a medical redshirt.
**Jacody Coleman was considering transferring from the program, but instead plans on redshirting during the 2009 season so will have 2 years of eligibility left for 2010 and 2011.
Fight For Iowa is in no way affiliated with The University of Iowa, Hawkeye Athletics, or the Iowa Football program. The views on this site are solely those of the author.

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