Iowa's spring football period began this morning but it was without some familiar faces. Of course the seniors have left but there are also some injuries that have spurred up or at least carried over from the ending of the 2015 season.
Three of those that will miss spring football are actually starters for this year's Hawkeye team in center James Daniels, cornerback Greg Mabin, and linebacker Ben Niemann. All three are cases that have lingered but aren't expected to hinder them from the regular season.
"Guys that are going to be kept out of spring ball, Ben Niemann, Derrick Mitchell, and Greg Mabin, three guys that were in the two-deep last year will not be able to really practice this spring, so they're going to have to stay in tuned mentally and try to grow that way," Kirk Ferentz said at his press conference Tuesday. "It's pretty much stuff that's lingered. Most cases you try to hold off on surgery if at all possible. In the three cases I cited, it was stuff that at some point we decided had to be addressed. The good thing is they'll be back in June full speed, but they're going to miss this period unfortunately."
"That's in addition to a couple guys I mentioned earlyer, James Daniels and Josh Jackson," he continued. "Those guys will be either out or limited in what they do."
With five contributors out, the injury bug continues to hit Iowa as it did during the regular season last year. But like with the injuries that they endured last year, they'll try to fill in right behind them and build the depth needed for a successful football team.
"It's been a little bit of an unusual off-season," Ferentz pointed out. "We've had a little more activity on that front than normal. Even a couple cases of mono just to top it off. It's just been one for the books. But we'll work through that. The teams did a good job working through injuries last fall and we'll try to do the same this spring."
Quarterback C.J. Beathard was another player who had offseason surgery but he's expected to be available, at least in some type of capacity, for the spring football period.
"I wouldn't describe him as a hundred percent, but I think he's close to it now," head coach Kirk Ferentz described his starting signal caller. "He should be able to practice full speed out there. We'll be careful about what we do with him because he's still a little bit delicate at this point, but he's doing really well with his rehab. Typically after those guys get the repairs on the sports hernias it's a matter of climbing the ladder."
One expected two-deep player has actually ended his football career. Defensive tackle Kyle Terlouw, who played quite a bit as a back-up to Jaleel Johnson and Nathan Bazata last Fall, has chosen not to pursue a fifth year and will not play this season.