Hawk Blog: Seems Like Football Season

In his weekly column, HN.com publisher Jon Miller talks about Spring football, who is flashing, who are the stars of the future as well as noticing the time that Clinton Solomon put in the weight room over the course of last winter. Hey, you can see the results for yourself in the picture above that was taken on 4/09/05...all that and more...

Monday, April 11th

We like to call Iowa's football complex Fort Kinnick, meaning that the flow of information out of practices and the like is darn near classified information.

We can certainly understand that, as in this day and age of instant information that can be accessed by anyone, a college football program is probably best served to put the clamps down on what takes place inside the walls.

Through the years, the message boards have seen posters who have information for a while and then all of the sudden, the spigot is turned off. Chances are that someone inside Fort Kinnick figured out who they were and got the message to them to knock it off, or risk excommunication from the inner sanctum.

There are also numerous instances where we will come across bits and pieces of information that are just too hot to handle and we let them fall to the cutting room floor.

For example, in the days leading up to the Purdue game last year, I received emails from three different people telling me to look for a few certain plays in that game. One of them was the Damien Sims to Drew Tate quarterback throw back near the redzone.

Yikes.

So you can understand why the flow of information out of Iowa's practices is near a lock down type of setting.

I guess that bit of rambling was more or less intended for the several email queries I receive about this time each and every year as to why we are not reporting more from what takes place at Iowa's practices.

This coming Saturday's practice WILL be open to the media, so we will have several first hand accounts of what takes place, so be sure to look for that.

PLAYERS MAKING SOME NOISE

On Saturday, Kirk Ferentz singled out a few players that have stood out this spring due to solid to spectacular play.

Ed Miles was one of the first players he mentioned, something that allowed Iowa to approach Mike Follett about a move to defensive end. It's great to hear that Miles is finally hitting his stride on defense, as he has had a reputation through the years of being a Bob Sanders-like hitter in practice.

It remains to be seen in Miles 6-foot-1, 222-pound frame can hold up over the course of a season at Iowa's LEO linebacker position. That is an assignment that requires quite a bit of run stopping duties as the player is typically lined up on the line of scrimmage in a two-point stance and has to take on pulling linemen and fullbacks looking to kick him to the outside.

If Miles can stay healthy and perform well in 2005, there will not be many linebacking corps as speeding as what the Hawkeyes will field this fall.

Ferentz also said that Matt Kroul was looking good on the interior of the defensive line, Eric McCollom has flashed some at receiver while Mike Jones and Ben Gates were singled out for their play on the offensive line.

Ferentz also mentioned that Bryan Mattison had looked solid prior to his foot injury and that Ken Iwebema had also flashed before coming down with mono.

A couple of other things that were great to hear from a friend of mine who attended the full scrimmage on Saturday is that safeties Charles Godfrey and Harold Dalton looked real solid.

I felt at this time last year that Harold Dalton might wind up as being one of the steals of the class of 2004, and I could have probably thrown Godfrey into the mix. Perhaps ‘steal' is not the right word, because its not like those two players didn't have offers from some high major programs. Tennessee was one of the schools that offered Dalton, just to name one of the more high profile programs. And Missouri and Kansas State were very interested in landing Godfrey.

Safety is a position that is in great hands for Iowa over the course of at least the next three years, and Adam Shada will prove to be a solid performer at cornerback for Iowa starting in the 2006 season.

Let's hope that Bradley Fletcher can fill the other corner position. If he can do that, then Iowa will be pretty solid at nine of the eleven defensive positions next year at this time, with the unknowns being the heirs to Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway's linebacker positions.

One more note...numerous reports have come in this spring that Brian Ferentz has been getting extensive work at the center position, and Mike Elgin has seen some time at guard.

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One of the neatest things I have seen or heard from this spring was the banner that is on display at Iowa's practice facility. It reads, ‘On this team, giving 100 percent doesn't make you special; it just makes you a part of the team.' Those were the words that Warren Holloway said to the team last fall prior to the season getting underway.

Then when you know how Holloway's career ended, and what type of team player he was for his five years on campus, it just makes you feel pretty darn good to be a fan of this football program, doesn't it?

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Did you check out the pipes on Clinton Solomon in the photo that accompanied this item?

Looks like Clinton didn't miss any weight lifting sessions this winter, and from all accounts that I have heard this spring, he is a determined man on the practice field.

I said it on ‘Soundoff' last fall and took some grief from Tommy in Des Moines, but I think that Solomon is the most talented receiver in my years of watching the Hawkeyes…he only has to be consistent to prove it.

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Here is a look at how some former Hawkeyes have been doing in their respective sports:

Jared Reiner's Chicago Bulls clinched their first playoff spot since MJ was in a Bulls uni. Reiner was reactived in early February, and had six boards in 13 minutes last week in a loss against a Shaq-less Miami Heat squad.

Reggie Evans continues one of the most productive rebounding seasons in NBA history...He is averaging 9.5 rebounds per game while playing 23.9 minutes per game. That equates to 19.0 rebounds for a 48 minute game, tops in the NBA.

A recent article looked at something called rebounding percentage as the best indicator as to how good a rebounder is. That number represents the percentage of rebounds that a player collects while he is in the game. As of a few weeks ago, Evans totals this year would rank among the top 12 rebounding seasons since the early 70's and just four players, including Evans, are in that group. Dennis Rodman has six of the 12 best seasons.

Reggie, already rich by our standards, is setting himself up for a huge payday.


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