This article was first published last week as a premium story. It is being published again for all to read as a good example of the premium content at HTO."> This article was first published last week as a premium story. It is being published again for all to read as a good example of the premium content at HTO.">

The Shadow Springs Eternal

After enjoying a spring break vacation in Puerto Vallarta, I needed a "fix" on Hawkeye football. Therefore, I tracked down my Dark Friend who had many tidbits of information that I will share with you. <p>This article was first published last week as a premium story. It is being published again for all to read as a good example of the premium content at HTO.

1. As first mentioned heavily on HTO.com, Jonathan Babineaux has made the move inside. Reports coming in from Iowa City feel this may give Iowa the best run-stopping tandem in the Big Ten with Jared Clauss and Babineaux plugging the middle. Jonathan has exceptional strength, and should play at over 280 pounds. The staff feels his move to the interior should help any future pro aspirations as well.

2. In fact, the Hawkeye coaches feel very comfortable in having one of the best defensive lines in the Big Ten. Much pre-season hoopla has gone to Ohio State's Will Smith at DE, but the tandem of Howard Hodges and Matt Roth will likely form the most potent pass rushing combo in the conference. Roth may just turn out to be the best DE in the league next fall when he gains more consistency.

3. With Warren McDuffie's departure from a thin TE position, the Hawks will experiment with Ryan Majerus at the position this spring. While Majerus is not likely to compete for any playing time this spring, he will add depth to a position with no freshman. That may very well change this fall with Scott Chandler arriving on his campus. However, the staff is not yet convinced that Scott will be able to add the weight.

4. Chris Felder and Marcus Paschal may have been the only two red-shirt freshmen to enter the two deeps, but that will change for the better at the end of this spring. While Edmond Miles name won't appear on the two deeps; he is quickly emerging as one of the Hawks top backers and should receive some playing time. Also, Richey Williams is poised to emerge as the #3 cornerback behind Allen and Johnson. Of course, not to mention, Jason Manson will most likely finish the end of the spring as the #2 quarterback.

5. The staff is very excited about the upcoming additions this fall at the DE position. Bryan Mattison and Kenneth Iwebema will most likely red-shirt, but both will be expected to be the next twin tandem at DE after Hodges and Roth both depart. With not a whole lot of depth at the position, do not be surprised if both emerge as starters by their red-shirt sophomore season.

6. While in a meeting last December among some key Burlington alumni, Coach Ferentz spoke very highly on the future Hawk quarterback situation. Many Hawk fans were amazed about the involvement with Chris Leak, arguably the nation's #1 QB prospect. Although Leak is a much more mature quarterback, the potential of Eric McCollom is really what caught the coaching staff's attention. Coach Ferentz mentioned the immediate impact likely won't be there like it would have been with Leak, but the coaching staff feels very confident McCollom will be just as successful a quarterback in his career at Iowa. While in Des Moines two weeks ago, Reese Morgan described McCollom as being "Electric". The question remains when Eric Electric becomes Ready Kilowatt.

7. One possibility to keep an eye out for this spring is the potential move of George Lewis inside to "Mike." With no real set #2 behind Abdul Hodge, George has the size and speed for the position. However, the concern of most is whether he will pick up the mental duties of the position. George's primary struggles at "Leo" where picking up all the responsibilities of the toughest position under Coach Parker. This move would give him more freedom in decision. Until he clearly shows his knee is back to full strength, though, the staff will stick to naming Kevin Worthy the #2 and having Chad Greenway take over "Will."

8. Many fans questioned how David Walker was not named the starting left guard instead of Kory Borchers. This will be one of the most interesting competitions this spring because it will also test Coach Ferentz, whom has always shown loyalty to the older players in the program. Borchers is talented, and will deserve to play somewhere on the line, but lining Walker alongside Gallery would likely take away little from last year's outstanding left side. What could happen is Borchers taking the starting spot at right guard pushing McMahon back to #2, and moving Chris Felder over to left guard.

9. Now to move focus over a bit to recruiting, some have suggested the Hawks may receive more early verbals this spring and summer than in any previous year. That could very well be true because this is an exceptional year for in-state talent. In addition, a very impressive crop is slated to attend summer football camp in Iowa City. The Hawks main priority will be looking to sign 4 or 5 offensive linemen, and potentially the same number of defensive backs.

10. Walk-on Watch: Since Iowa has a great tradition with walk-on players becoming Hawkeye stars; I have to add one final tip about an unknown walk-on that will be a name to watch in the future. Defensive back coach, Phil Parker, loves Brian Kline the red-shirt sophomore from West Des Moines Dowling. The Shadow has a friend that has known the Kline family for many years. The word is that determination and toughness will not be a question whether or not Kline can knock somebody through a wall. That trait was inherited from his father, Joe, a coach at Dowling. Brian's development at Free Safety is further reason to keep Jermire Roberts at linebacker. Currently #3, Brian will compete for backup time next fall.


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