Inside The LockerRoom

In this edition of Inside The LockerRoom, Josh Clark takes a closer look at the newcomers on the Iowa team. What freshmen are making noise in practice? This was supposed to be one of the best recruiting classes ever at Iowa; is it performing up to standards so far?

While it is way too early to judge this recruiting class, a first impression always means a lot. There are a lot of freshmen making good first impressions in this class.

The great thing of this class is that there is a lot of unity, and a lot of them wanted to stick together. Players such as Abdul Hodge, Antwan Allen, Fabian Dodd, Chad Greenway, and Ed Hinkel were all asked to play this year, but they all said they wanted to be red-shirted. It's not guaranteed that any of them would have warranted any serious amount of playing time, but the key issue is that many of them realized that red-shirting was in their best interest.

Ed Hinkel may actually be the fastest freshman in the class. There was a lot of hype on Adolphus Shelton, but Ed has impressed many with his jets. Ed should be competing for some serious playing time at WR next season; he just needs to put on some bulk.

Also, Chad Greenway has impressed with his speed at LB. He has the speed to play safety in the Big Ten, and he hasn't lost a step with the weight gain.

We could very well have the best LB group in the conference in two to three years. There has been a lot of hype on Matt Roth, but don't expect Abdul Hodge to play second fiddle. Abdul is the real deal, and Greenway, Roth, and he could possibly form the best LB corps ever at Iowa, barring injury. That is a lot of hype to be putting on the players, but Iowa hasn't had this type of athleticism at LB in a very long time.

Darius Butler has a lot of talent and raw athletic ability at WR, but he is having a hard time picking up the system. People shouldn't be writing him off yet, because I think the staff has expectations of Darius climbing up the charts come this spring. Hinkel and he will add some very good depth at WR next season.

Ben Cronin has been a great addition to the OL so far, and has been playing very well. Blake Larsen has an enormous amount of talent and potential, but Ben Cronin has All Big-Ten potential as well. With Coach Ferentz and Philbin guiding him, Ben's future is looking very good. Schools such as Nebraska are going to regret not giving him a scholarship.

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