B10 Teleconference: Ferentz on Drew Tate

The Iowa Hawkeyes enter the 2004 season in a similar and different way on offense. Drew Tate is a sophomore quarterback who will start for Iowa, snapping a streak of starting senior quarterbacks since the start of the decade. But like Brad Banks and Nathan Chandler, Tate will start in his second year on campus. Kirk Ferentz spoke about Tate, his progress, the parallels and differences from recent years in today's Big Ten teleconference.

Q: You are used to having senior quarterbacks. Talk about the challenges you will face with a younger quarterback in Drew Tate?

We have had a little different scenario each time. With Kyle McCann in 2001, he was a fifth year senior who had been in the program for his entire career, so he had that benefit and I felt he played well in 2001. The last two years with Brad (Banks) and Nathan (Chandler), both of those guys were junior college players, so even though they were fifth year seniors, it was their second year on campus.

The nice thing with Drew Tate, we have a parallel there. This is Drew's second year at Iowa, so he is on the same plane in that regard. He has three years left as opposed to one. He might not have some of the advantages of being a 22-year old guy; some of the things like poise that go along with that.

But I think it will balance out. He will have big eyes for sure, and he will make some stupid mistakes at some point, but we are all real confident that he will settle in and do a good job for us.

Q: Talk about Drew's progress from spring to now.

He has done a nice job. He has had his days now, don't get me wrong, during camp. But our defense can give you some problems, especially when we are thin up front and had some injuries. But all in all, he has done a good job of grasping things.

His step dad has been his high school coach, and he has started since his freshman year of high school. He has been involved in a lot of snaps at a pretty good program in Texas. He has done a nice job of absorbing things. He does a nice job of studying things and tapes. All that being said, he is a new player. But I really think because of his background, I can see him assimilating in there really quickly.

I kind of have my fingers crossed; you look at Brooks Bollinger who did a great job for Barry (Alvarez) at Wisconsin. Similar story, I believe Brooks was a coach's son, so he maybe had a little knack that the average guy doesn't. He played well in his second year at Wisconsin (redshirt freshman) and he had a great career. If it could work out for Drew like that, it would be fantastic.

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