No matter what beat, what sport, and what age group I'm covering, players want to feel needed. Especially teenage boys. I would predict 9-of-10 high school recruits I talk to list early playing time as their number one desire in picking a school.
It makes perfect sense when you sit back and think about it. For most of these players, stardom is all they have ever known. Since their days in little league, they have been told they are special by wannabe coaches, parents, and eventually the rest of the world.
It's why a handful of players don't make it a whole year or transfer out of a program. It hurts to learn that they are not only not a star anymore, but possibly on the bottom shelf.
The most in one season during the Kirk Ferentz era.
While many have played out of necessity, the opportunities these freshman are getting will be a major recruiting tool used by Iowa in the coming years.
Come be a Hawkeye, you can continue to be a star!
Ferentz has never been afraid to use freshman and this year will hammer out his point even more to potential high school juniors and seniors. Just picture telling DeMatha teammates Darian Cooper and Cyrus Kouandjio – you saw what Marcus did right?
"In a perfect world, I probably wish we were a little healthier at some other spots or maybe had some other guys contributing where we didn't have to call on these guys," said Ferentz on Tuesday. "I'll give you the linebacker situation is an example. We came into the season with very veteran, we had a lot of guys in that senior class and I think one junior. So it's really not a bad thing that it's worked out this way.
"But I'm not sure as our master plan, we thought would get those guys started on special teams, James (Morris) and Christian Kirksey, in particular. But James has really done a good job. He doesn't seem to be overwhelmed by any of this."
Almost everyone predicted the Iowa class of 2010 would be a very nice class in the end. The Hawkeyes were just able to show us a little early.