Links For Iowa: Crunch Time

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There are only a couple of days until the football season gets underway and there is no shortage of news. So, let's jump right in.

Josh Koeppel hit by truck
First off, the good news: Koeppel is doing "fine" and his injuries are not critical. He was however, hit by a truck that was turning left while Koeppel was on his motorcycle. Koeppel was rushed to the emergency room, but as I said, he's doing just fine.

Koeppel was listed as a co-starter with James Ferentz on Iowa's depth chart. It is unknown at this time if he'll be able to play this weekend against Eastern Illinois. If I had to guess, then I would say that Ferentz will be the starter on Saturday.

Hundertmark leaves team
This is being reported by @HawkeyeInsider on Twitter. We should know for sure later today during Kirk Ferentz's presser. Hundertmark was listed as the 2nd string right offensive guard and was likely to play this weekend in the opener (especially if those ankle injury rumors are true about Gettis). His reasons for leaving the team are currently unknown.

Now, all of the sudden with Koeppel possibly missing some time and Hundertmark leaving, the depth along the offensive line is looking rather slim. A group that I thought would gel early and perform better than its previous year's counterpart now does not look quite as stable.
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Iowa Football 2010 Season Primer: Depth Chart

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The depth chart for Saturday was released at the end of last week as part of the game notes [pdf]. There are a couple of noteworthy items about the depth chart.
  • Jewel Hampton and Broderick Binns are both suspended for 1 game and thus are not listed. However, they will likely be the first or second string running back and starting right defensive end respectively for the Iowa State game next week.
  • As a result of Binns suspension, either Christian Ballard or Mike Daniels, both defensive tackles, will be sliding out to play defensive end.
  • Shaun Prater, who has been battling a leg injury, is not on the depth chart. In his place is Greg Castillo who does have a good deal of experience. I don't think Prater's injury is too serious. He has been practicing to some extent.
  • Kyle Steinbrecher, who previously was listed as a receiver, has moved to the defense and made his way onto the 2-deeps as a free safety.
  • And, last but not least, DJK still has an "or" between his name and Colin Sandemann. I wouldn't read much into this. Both will see plenty of time.

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Hawkeye Recruit Roundup: Week 1

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For the Iowa Hawkeyes, the first week of the season starts today. We're now just 5 days away from kickoff. Many of the commits from the 2011 recruiting class, however, started their seasons last week.

Ray Hamilton
L Euclid 9 - Strongsville 5 | (0-1)
Hamilton started off the season all wrong. Not only did his team lose in the sloppy, defensive game, he struggled to make plays against a cornerback 9 inches shorter. On a 4th and goal he had a ball batted away in front of him and had another one intercepted in front of him on the 6 yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Next Game: vs. Mentor - 09/03

Austin Blythe
W Williamsburg 55 - Center Point-Urbana | (1-0)
Blythe helped his team to an easy victory on Friday night. He can be seen in this KCRG video pass blocking on a few plays and in on a tackle on defense.

Next Game: vs. Mt. Pleasant - 09/03

Austin Vincent
W De Soto 56 - Leander 35 | (1-0)
Vincent had a quite night in a victory over Leander. He did however have one really big catch for a 45-yard touchdown that sparked a 36-point fourth quarter for De Soto.

Next Game: vs. Bowie - 09/06

Jake Duzey
W Mott 19 - Athens 31 | (1-0)
Duzey led the way to an opening week win for Athens. He was a big contributor in both the running and passing game, and even had a 53-yard kickoff return to start the second half. He carried the ball 7 times for 70 yards and had 3 receptions for another 49 and a TD.

Next Game: at Pontiac - 09/03
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Iowa Football 2010 Season Primer: Headlines

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The Season Primer has been on hiatus a couple of days, but makes its triumphant comeback today. Today's topic is about the biggest stories of the off-season. If you have been following Iowa Football in any capacity, none of this will be news to you. But, if you need a quick refresher, here we go:

Nebraska Joins the Big Ten

Conference realignment was the biggest story of the off-season for all of college football. Rumors rampantly spread, teams were unsure where they would land, and the chaos has yet to subside. Thus far the changes have been:
  • Nebraska: Big XII → Big Ten
  • Colorado: Big XII → Pac-10
  • Utah: MWC → Pac-10
  • Boise State: WAC → MWC
  • Nevada: WAC → MWC
  • Fresno State: WAC → MWC
  • BYU: MWC → Independent (hasn't happened officially yet)

Obviously Nebraska joining the Big Ten has the biggest impact on Iowa. Not only will it serve as a huge rivalry for the Hawkeyes as the states border one another and the teams have a history, the addition brings the Big Ten up to 12 teams thus introducing conference divisions and a conference title game.
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Black & Gold Spirit Day: What to Wear

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The University finally made an official announcement that the homecoming game against Penn State on October 2nd will be Black & Gold Spirit Day in which alternative sections are supposed to wear black or gold. They have a helpful chart that shows you what gold to wear, based on your seat location. However, I know how difficult it can be for some fans to figure out what color shirt to wear to Blackout and Be Bold, Wear Gold games and the Black & Gold Spirit day figures to make it even more difficult. So, I made little app to help. Simply enter the section number you will be sitting in and click Check.

Read This: DJK on Facebook

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I have at times in the past been somewhat critical of DJK. His game day performance has never been in question, but his work ethic in practices certainly has. Well, it sounds like he has his head on straight now and is ready for a hell of a senior year. Here is a quote from his bio on Facebook: (H/T @iowaguru)
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Iowa Football 2010 Season Primer: Lists

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Not everyone has the luxury of following Hawkeye Football year round. Maybe it's a life long fan with season tickets, but who is too busy over the summer to read message boards and blogs.... Maybe it's an incoming freshman who started school yesterday, but wasn't fanatical about the Hawkeyes in high school... I get it. The off-season is long and the news is sometimes slow. But kickoff is now less than 2 weeks away, so it's time to get caught up on what you might have missed. So, over the next few days I'll post everything you need to know (at least I much of it as I can) to get ready for the season. Today, a bunch of lists to quickly get you up to speed.

Who's Returning

Returning Starters
Offense-
  • Ricky Stanzi | QB
  • Adam Robinson | RB
  • Derrell Johnson-Koulianos | WR
  • Riley Reiff | OT
  • Julian Vandervelde | OG
  • Brett Morse | FB
Defense-
  • Adrian Clayborn | DE
  • Broderick Binns | DE
  • Christian Ballard | DT
  • Karl Klug | DT
  • Jeremiha Hunter | LB
  • Tyler Sash | SS
  • Brett Greenwood | FS
  • Shaun Prater | CB
Special Teams-
  • Ryan Donahue | P
  • Daniel Murray | L
  • Andrew Schulze | LS
  • Colin Sandeman | PR
  • Derrell Johnson-Koulianos | KR

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2011 Commit: Melvin Gordon

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Iowa picked up a new commit this weekend on while Melvin Gordon was visiting Iowa City. Gordon is the 14th player in Iowa's 2011 recruiting class, the first running back, and the 10th projected to play on offense. He is rated 3-stars by both Scout and Rivals.

Gordon in High School

Melvin Gordon currently attends Bradford High School in Kenosha, WI. As a junior, Gordon helped lead his team to an 11-1 season that ended in the state quarter-finals. The Red Devils run a flexbone offense similar to what Iowa faced in the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech with a little less "option" in it. Gordon played a slotback in the offense, kind of a tight end/running back combo that often goes in motion to take a pitch from the quarterback.  He also returned kicks for the Red Devils.

Stats:
  • Rushing - 99 rushes, 1061 yards, 11 TDs
  • Receiving - 11 receptions, 271 yards, 4 TDs

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The Big Ten Network likes to Tweet

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If you didn't take my advice yesterday and follow the BTN Crew on Twitter while they attended Iowa's practice, you missed an exciting couple of hours last night. Every couple of minutes, a small crack in the usually closed doors of Hawkeye practices was opened and we got to peak inside. Of course nothing earth shattering came out, but besides a unsurprising Stanzi interception the tone from the BTN was very, very positive.

On to the Tweets!
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BTN in Iowa City

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Just a quick note, the Big Ten Network will be in Iowa City today as part of its 2010 Big Ten Football Tour. They will be attending practice and the Iowa preview show will air a week from today (August 26) at 7:00 PM. The BTN crew gets a pretty unique look inside of an Iowa practice and last year spoiled Kirk Ferentz's hope to keep Wegher, Davis, and Hyde surprises. Hopefully this year they will be able to provide some other insider information.


They have a good sized crew on the tour and they all like to tweet updates and provide some quick analysis while at practice. So, be sure you are following Brent Yarina - @BTNBrentsBlog, Chris Antonacci - @BTNStatsGuy, and Dave Revsine - @BTNDaveRevsine on Twitter today.

Also, if you are in Iowa City, be on the lookout for their Big Ten Icons bus.

Kids at Kinnick: Pictures!

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Four days after the open practice I am finally wrapping up my posts about it. I already shared my thoughts on the offense and defense. So today, a quick word on special teams (really just the kickers) and then a few pictures.

Place kicker
On Saturday Mossbrucker was the first in line to kick field goals all day. I'm not sure if that is any indication that he might be leading the battle for the starting job, or not. Murray kicked second and then, unlike in the spring, there was a third kicker getting reps: freshman Mike Meyer. Really all 3 performed about equally. Mossbrucker was 8 of 11, Murray was 8 of 12 (missed 3 and Clayborn blocked one), and Meyer was 7 of 11. (Side note: I just noticed whiling typing up this post that all 3 have a last name starting with "M"). Murray and Meyer both had a bad miss from long range where it looked like they just tried to overpower it and ended up kicking a line drive. Meyer looks like he could actually challenge for the spot this fall and to me had the strongest leg of the bunch.

Pictures!
Iowa team stretches
Team stretches.
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BlogPoll: Preseason (Draft)

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The 2010 BlogPoll is officially now in session and college football bloggers everywhere are putting together their preseason ballots. The BlogPoll this year features some exciting improvements. Most importantly, there is my addition to the voter pool that automatically make it about 100 times cooler. Plus it's been moved over to a slick new platform on SB Nation that makes it extremely easy voting and provides a nice embeddable table of my ballot.

Anyway, here's my first attempt at a preseason top 25. I have until Monday morning to finalize it, so let me know who's too high, too low, who I missed, etc...

Be Bold, Wear Gold, Blackout, and Stripes?

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We are all accustomed to the Be Bold, Wear Gold and Blackout games. Iowa has been doing these for several years now and it has actually been quite successful. The stadium has never looked better than in 2006 when Iowa had a sea of gold fill the stadium Ohio State. Even a few of the Blackouts have looked pretty good (Homecoming last year against Michigan, 2008 upset of #3 Penn State).

There are 3 games that require specific colored clothing this year.
  • 09/04/2010 - Eastern Illinois: Be Bold, Wear Gold
  • 10/30/2010 - Michigan State: Blackout
  • 10/02/2010 - Penn State: Black & Gold Spirit Day (What!?)

According to @LearHawks, the Black & Gold Spirit Day consist of a color scheme in which the student section and all even sections wear black and the odd sections wear gold. I'm not sure if this is one of those so crazy it might just work ideas, or just a crazy idea. I have a hard time believing that fans will be able to figure out what color they should wear, that is if they even get the memo about the spirit day and care enough to abide by its rules. I think it would be awesome if it worked, but unless they are handing out appropriately colored t-shirts in each section, I think this will be quite the let down. If it does work though, here's what it might look like (except, ya know, with the new FieldTurf):

Kinnick Black and Gold Stripes
A MS Paint rendering of what Black & Gold Spirit Day might, but probably won't, look like.

Kids at Kinnick: Thoughts on the Defense

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Yesterday I made it through my thoughts on the offense at the open practice on Saturday. Today...the defense.

Defensive line
The starting 4 are good...really good. Clayborn had numerous big plays including a couple of tackles for loss and a sack or two. He also blocked a Murray kicked field goal and probably would have returned it for a TD (biggest crowd reaction of the day). I also remember Klug breaking through a couple of times. As a whole both the first and second team defensive lines looked stout against the run.
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From the Iowa State Fair

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I made my annual trip to the Iowa State Fair today. As always I had a good time, ate a lot of delicious and artery-clogging food, checked out the farm animals, saw the butter cow...the usual. And, of course, stopped by the big Hawkeye display in the Varied Industries Building. This is reason enough to go to the fair. The highlight is usually getting your free Iowa Football schedule poster. The highlight this year though was that on display were the Orange Bowl trophy and all 3 rivalry trophies. Speaking of which, as pointed out by Mark Schalbach on ESPN Iowa has won the past 9 games that were played for a trophy. Iowa has beaten Minnesota 3 times in a row, Iowa State and Wisconsin twice, and won its last two bowl games.

Seeing the trophies up close was pretty awesome. (Side note: you can see the Insight Bowl trophy at Iowa State's booth...it's not even behind protective glass so I guess you could even touch it if wanted). Here are some related pictures:

Floyd of Rosedale
The beautiful Floyd of Rosedale

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Kids at Kinnick: Thoughts on the Offense

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Before talking football, let me say that the football program does a great job with the Kids at Kinnick event. It was a great environment for families, a lot fun, and having half-priced concessions was amazing. My family ate lunch for $8! Awesome. I took my son and he had a blast. It was a perfect way to take my family to Kinnick without paying a huge amount and without feeling bad about missing a play or two while fathering. So kudos to whoever organizes this thing.

One more quick note. Two hours in the hot sun, right smack in the middle of nap time is a little bit too long for a 2-year old. So, I missed the last 15 minutes of practice or so. From reading other accounts, I think all I missed with the goal-line and 2-minute drills. Also, I didn't take a lot of notes and wasn't able to watch super carefully, but saw most of what was going on.
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Kids at Kinnick: Primer

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The open practice is now just a couple hours away. I'm taking my kid (he's 2) and wife (older than 2). It'll be my kid's first trip to Kinnick, so I'm excited about that. He is well aware of Hawkeye Football, so I think he'll be excited too. So, I'll probably be a little more in father mode today rather than blogger mode, but I should still have some pictures and updates later tonight or tomorrow.

The lowdown

What: Kids at Kinnick
When: Today, gates open at 11:00, practice starts at 12:00
Where: Kinnick Stadium
Price: It's FREE!
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Nebraska In, Iowa State Out: Part 2

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It's been a week since I posted Part 1--a riveting tale of two teams destined to meet again possibly in some sort of conference rivalry game--so it's about time to get on with Part 2.

Iowa vs. Iowa State

The end is near...well maybe, maybe not. I've written on this subject before, but it was back when it looked like Iowa State would be shipped off to the MAC or MWC as it seemed very unlikely Iowa would want to keep playing a non-BCS conference team in an annual rivalry game. The main problem would be playing a road game every other year against a MAC team.
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Watch this

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Yesterday afternoon @HawkeyeFootball shared this video on Twitter. Watch it, watch it now. It features just about every great play from last year that features a returning player. It also throws in a couple of Jewel Hampton highlights from 2008 that will make you remember why he was anointed the next great one after just a couple of runs against Maine in mop-up time at the end of the game.
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Running Backs, Oh the Running Backs

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As recently as yesterday, there was an article published about how the Hawkeyes are loaded with experience at running back. We've seen similar stories written throughout the entire off season about how Iowa will have a tough choice picking a starter and finding enough carries for all the talented backs. Well, how quickly things change...and it's not like Iowa fans shouldn't have seen this coming. Every time we're feeling comfortable at this position, we get reminded of Sam Brownlee.
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2011 Commit: Jordan Walsh

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Iowa picked up its second offensive linemen commit yesterday and 13th overall for the 2011 recruiting class. Jordan Walsh is probably the most heralded recruit in this class thus far with 4-star rankings from both Scout and Rivals. Additionally, Scout ranks Walsh as the #2 offensive guard prospect in the country.

Walsh in High School

Walsh attends Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, IL. The Hilltoppers were spectacular last year winning their first 13 games before falling in double overtime in the Class 7A Championship Game. Walsh did his part along the way not allowing a single sack as an offensive tackle.
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Links For Iowa: Fact Filled Friday

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This week of abundant news--thanks mostly to the Big Ten Media Days--came to a very appropriate end with a fact filled Friday. Let's jump right in.

Fact 1: Iowa is ranked #10 in the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll
The last time Iowa was ranked near this high in the preseason was 2005 when the Coaches' pegged the Hawkeyes as #11. Those lofty expectations didn't turn out so well for Iowa that year, so I'm hoping this year will be different. The rest of the top 10:
  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Florida
  4. Texas
  5. Boise State
  6. Virigina Tech
  7. TCU
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Nebraska
  10. Iowa

Fact 2: Photos are fun!
I always have a good time digging through the practice photos posted on hawkeyesports.com trying to make predictions about the team. Today's photos provide a few good tidbits.
  • Photo 6 - A.J. Derby (#17) is seen in the yellow offense jersey. Maybe that will put to bed the Derby to linebacker rumor. However, also note that he is not in the silvery jersey that Stanzi, Vandenberg, and Wienke are wearing...so I'm starting a Derby to tight end rumor.
  • Phot 13 - Tyler Sash has killed Justin Greiner.
  • Photo 18 - Who the heck is Jordan Price? I had never heard of him, but he's apparently a cornerback from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He's probably a walk on who will be on the scout team.

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What to Watch: Fall Camp Edition

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The Iowa Hawkeyes officially started Fall Camp on Wednesday when all the incoming freshmen reported for duty. Yesterday, the remaining players reported and a team meeting was held, followed by ice-cream. Today, though, marks the real beginning of camp as the players will take the field for the first practice of the fall. In addition, today is Iowa's media day where a good number of players and coaches will be open to the media and Ferentz will hold a press conference. Between today and September 4th the team still has some questions to answer and those are the stories I'll be following.

Position Battles

I'll start off with the defense and get it out of the way because I don't think there are too many spots up for grabs. Only 3 starters from last year are gone and all of their replacements seem locked in to place. I think Micah Hyde is definitely the #2 corner and Jeff Tarpinian and Tyler Nielsen are the two new linebackers. There will be a spot open on the defensive line week one with Broderick Binns' one-game suspension, so it will be interesting to see if they shift Christian Ballard over to end to make room for Mike Daniels at tackles. Or, keep the tackles in place use Lebron Daniel (or someone else) to replace Binns.
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Nebraska In, Iowa State Out: Part 1

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The past few days have been total information overload with the Big Ten Media Days, the addition of Torrey Campbell, and the start of the Hawkeye's fall camp. A lot of the information though, as pointed out on BHGP hasn't been surprising and really isn't that news worthy. I do enjoy reading about some more personal stories from , Clayborn, and Klug, and always enjoy what Coach Ferentz has to say (though you really don't get much "news" out of him). Two of the more interesting stories lines for me, though, are around the rivalries Iowa has (or will have) against Iowa State and Nebraska. This morning's Part 1 post will cover Nebraska.

Iowa vs. Nebraska

The talk is heating up of a season-ending show down between Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa has traditionally played Minnesota to end the season, but with the addition Nebraska and with the necessary splitting up the divisions, tradition is losing its importance. An Iowa-Nebraska rivalry game would certainly provide more national appeal than Iowa-Minnesota and depending on how the divisions come out, could provide a pseudo divisional championship game if the two schools keep playing at their current level.
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2011 Commit: Torrey Campbell

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Somewhat overshadowed by second day of the Big Ten Media Days was the news of a new recruit committing. Torrey Campbell, a running back/defensive back, from Florida became the 12th member of Iowa's 2011 recruiting class. He is rated 3-stars by both Scout and Rivals.

Campbell in High School

Campbell attends Barron Collier High School in Naples, FL. The Cougars were 9-2 last year and won their division. Campbell plays both sides of the ball for the Cougars. On offense he's a running back and on defense a defensive back. Though, most of his time thus far has been on offense. Barron Collier runs a spread attack and uses multiple running backs, but Campbell still finished the season with 552 rushing yards.

Stats:
  • 2008 Rushing - 159 rushes for 999 yards, 9 TDs
  • 2009 Rushing - 73 rushes for 552 yards, 6 TDs
  • 2009 Defense - 10 tackles, 2 passes defended

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Big Ten Media Days: Day 1 Recap

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Ferentz Speaks

Suspensions:
Jewel Hampton and Broderick Binns will serve a 1 game suspension at the beginning of the year for off-season alcohol-related charges. That means they'll miss the Eastern Illinois game, but will be back against ISU. Ferentz didn't mention Jordan Bernstine at all, so he may be in the clear.

Injuries:
Only one reported, so that's good. It's OLB Ross Petersen who is currently out with a torn pec.

Rumors Quashed:
Before Ferentz spoke with the press today there were a couple of big rumors floating around. The first is that A.J. Derby had decided to move to linebacker from quarterback in an attempt to see the field sooner. The second is that defensive coordinator Norm Parker is planning on retiring after this season. Ferentz said that both of these rumors were news to him, though didn't outright deny their truthfulness. We'll have to file these under "wait and see".

One other rumor was indirectly addressed as Ferentz said that all the members of the team are in good standing academically. That means Brandon Wegher is still on the team and has good enough grade. So no, he's not transferring to South Dakota State or anywhere.
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2011 Commit: Cole Fisher

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On Friday, Iowa added its second linebacker commit in a row as Cole Fisher became just the 4th defensive player of Iowa's 2011 commits. Fisher is an Omaha, Nebraska native and has been a Husker fan all his life. His father, Todd, player for Nebraska back in the early 1980s and his brother, Sean, is expected to be the starting strong-side linebacker for the Huskers this fall. So, for Iowa to get Fisher right out of Nebraska's backyard is nice...even though Nebraska hadn't offered him yet. Fisher is rated 2-stars by Scout and 3-stars by Rivals.

Fisher in High School

Fisher attends Millard North High School in Omaha, NE. It's the largest school in Nebraska and has a really strong football program that won a couple of State Titles earlier this decade. However, the Mustangs went just 5-5 last year losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Fisher plays running back and free safety for Millard North. Though he plays on both sides of the ball he excels on defense and was a 1st Team All-State selection last year as a defensive back.

Stats:
  • Defense - 80 tackles (I couldn't find much...)

Quick Thoughts:
Fisher was rolling along getting some interest from schools when he tore his ACL during basketball season. Iowa had offered Fisher before his injury and as the coaches have shown in the past, stayed committed to Fisher. As a result, Iowa picked up a nice commit. Fisher should be ready to play for Millard North this fall, though he still needs to be cleared by the doctors, and maybe it'll be easier to find some information on him then.
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