Here is what we were able to gather from our man on the scene down in Orlando...we placed a call to him after today's presser:
Blake Larsen said that he is done...he wants to get a job in Des Moines in law enforcement after college...so this will be Blake's last football go around (the Bowl game).
Though Blake never made any significant on field contributions at Iowa, and some might be tempted to lump him in the same group as a Willie Guy, of players who did not meet their expectations, he committed to Iowa at a time when Iowa was desperate for any kind of good news. His relationship with Matt Roth helped Roth choose Iowa. Blake has always been a pleasure to interview and to deal with, and he is well liked amongst his teammates.
I am sure that Blake learned some valuable life lessons from playing football and the recruiting process that will serve him well in the next phase of his life.
Marques Simmons is OK, as he dressed out and practiced today…Pete McMahon is not cleared to play yet, but he is practicing. This is one to watch, as if he is not 100%, that is trouble against Spears, as would be whomever plays RT if Pete can't go...just speculation, but I would think you would either see Mike Jones or Ben Gates at RT if Pete can't go, or possibly look for two TE sets with Tony Jackson and CJ Barkema…Marcus Paschal was there today and he looks OK...remember, he had the injury vs, Wisconsin.
Jermelle Lewis will try for a sixth year. They are going to give it a shot and they are filing the paperwork.
THIS AND THAT
The big buzz amongst the reporters today was that Eric McCollom has made the move to receiver and has been getting reps there during Iowa's bowl prep.
With Jake Christensen coming to Iowa next year, there has been plenty of message board speculation that one of Iowa's quarterbacks might look to move to a new position. Let's hope that things work out for McCollom and he takes to receiver, as he is a talented athlete.
Norm Parker will be back next year, not that it was not assumed; but it was a question that came up today.
Seen around practice today was Drew Tate's father Dick Olin, who is head coach at Baytown (Lee), Texas.
TATE AND BANKS
Ken O'Keefe talked about Brad Banks and Drew Tate today. He said that Banks could pop one for 60 yards, but Tate might not do that, yet Tate might be quicker. He said that Banks had a truer release, but that Tate might have a stronger arm.
He said that when Iowa decided to go all pass and abandon the run at midseason, there was no coronation; they just walked into a meeting and said they were going to start going 70/30 to the pass, and that was it. The players just went to work.
Also, word emanating from out of Orlando is that the Elijah Hodge sweepstakes are not over yet...there might also be some new name DB's coming in sometime in January for recruiting visits...
Also, the biggest story coming out of Orlando has to do with Nick Saban going to Miami...Iowa is sort of being ignored...just the way they like it.
Facts relayed to HawkeyeNation.com from our special contributor in Orlando, commentary provided by Jon Miller