CHICAGO - Kirk Ferentz received a plenty of football questions Wednesday here at the Big Ten media event. A much more serious topic also was addressed.
Iowa Tight Ends Coach D.J. Hernandez showed up in the Connecticut headlines earlier this month when a fight broke out in a Connecticut restaurant at which he was present. He wisely exited the establishment as soon things became heated.
The incident resulted from a customer in the restaurant yelling the name of Hernandez's only brother at he and the rest of his party. Aaron Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, was arrested last month and charged with murder.
Ferentz spoke about how D.J. was handling the situation here at the Hilton on Wednesday.
"It's his brother," the Iowa coach said. "First of all, it's a very highly visible thing. For any of us to put ourselves in his shoes, just imagine the gamut of emotions he's gone through.
"I'm not judging what happened because I don't know what's happened. There's a lot of speculation right now. It's a very difficult situation for everybody involved."
Ferentz said he hired D.J. based largely on a recommendation from a longtime coach at the University of Connecticut. Ferentz and D.J. both played for the Huskies.
"D.J., to me, is a tremendous young man," Ferentz said. "He couldn't have gotten a stronger endorsement. Having been around him since January, he's just a tremendous young person.
"But it's a very challenging situation for everybody in the family, I'm sure."
Ferentz said he spoke to D.J. about the incident in the Connecticut restaurant.
"As far as I know, he did the proper thing," Ferentz said.
Ferentz came off as very sympathetic to D.J.'s position.
"Families are families and I'm sure he cares an awful lot about his brother," the coach said.
Player Departure: Ferentz vaguely answered an inquiry about talk that redshirt freshman Cameron Wilson was leaving the program.
"It's not unusual this time of year for players to be looking around or contemplating," Ferentz said. "We don't have any announcements right now. We'll have the roster finalized in a couple of weeks."
Contacted by Hawkeye Insider Wednesday afternoon, Wilson was asked if he could confirm his exit from the Iowa program:
"Yes, I can confirm I'm transferring," Wilson wrote in a text message.
Wilson, an Ohio native, was hoping to compete for playing time at receiver this fall. He put together one of the more impressive performances during April's spring game.
Wilson declined to be interviewed Wednesday night, saying he had school work to which he needed to tend.
Morris said he had his operation eight days ago. Lomax had his surgery first, Morris said.
Morris said doctors advised him to take two weeks off after his procedure before working out again. They told him it would be roughly 3-4 weeks before he would be 100 percent recovered.
Ferentz said that he didn't expect anybody else to miss the start of training camp next month due to injury.
Making the Grade: Ferentz said that as far as he knew, all of the incoming freshmen were qualified academically. He added that incoming receiver Damond Powell still is finishing up his school work at Snow Junior College in Utah.
The Iowa coaches knew of Powell's timetable when recruiting him.
"We really like him," Ferentz said. "He's a real high-energy guy and I think a good player. The biggest concern will be what conditioning level he'll be at when he gets here."