Porter Gains Fifth Year of Eligibility

Coach Kirk Ferentz and staff got some very exciting news this week when the Big Ten awarded 6'7 316 OL David Porter a fifth year of eligibility. David will add yet another boost to what was looking like one of Iowa's best ever offensive lines. HawkTalkOnline.com was able to speak to David about this exciting news and get some of his thoughts on this promising upcoming season.

Kirk Ferentz made it no secret during the recruiting season that gaining David Porter for a fifth year would be the biggest recruiting news for the staff. Well, that happened this week when the Big Ten announced that David would be able to return for another season, adding the final piece to what is looking like a dynamite offensive line for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

"I fully anticipated that I would return next season," David said. "I got a little worried with how long it was taking as there was a lot to go through with this process. If I was not allowed another year, I planned to put my name into the NFL Draft. If that would not have worked out, I would have explored a career in education."

Certainly, David likely would have had a chance at the NFL. However, now with another season under his belt, his chances are going to increase greatly.

"I really do believe my chances for the NFL are now better with another season. I talked to Coach Ferentz yesterday, and he told me the same thing. He said if I make the same improvement this coming season as I did last season, my chances will look a whole lot better."

Many offensive lineman tap their potential early in their careers, but dating back to when Hayden Fry was still coach, the word on the street about David was the amount of potential that he possessed. That was another reason why Coach Ferentz stated his return would be the biggest recruiting news for the staff this season.

"There is a lot of things that I can be better at. The first two steps are the most important and you can never be perfect. Also, my pass set can always be quicker. I think I do things well, but there is always things that I can do better."

Certainly, the Hawkeyes will have a chance at being the top offensive line in the Big Ten this season. Adding David Porter back to the equation was the icing on the cake.

"We are going to have a pretty tough line next year. We will have a lot of depth and a lot of experience returning to go along with the depth. I think there is no question that we should probably be near the top of the Big Ten. We were third last year, and we are only losing Alonzo Cunningham. Alonzo was a great asset for this line even when on the sidelines because he is part of the reason this line will be so mature next season."

David Porter entered this program when Coach Hayden Fry saw his tenure start to decline. After three consecutive losing seasons, Dave finally was able to make it to his first bowl game in the Alamo Bowl victory. Have times now changed with the stature of the Hawkeye program?

"It is always our goal to be the best. That is why we practice and work so hard all year around. We go in believing that we are going to win the national championship as there is no reason to hold any lower goals. I definitely think there is more anticipation this off-season, but there is also a little added pressure. The off-season program continues to get harder as we continually keep pushing the envelope on getting back to the top."

When Kirk Ferentz entered this program, the offensive line was the position most thought would flourish under his watchful eye. So far, improvements have been seen, but this year will be the year to really start seeing some results. David Porter has no problem believing Hawk fans will see great offensive lines for a long time at Iowa.

"I think we are building an Offensive Line University here at Iowa, similar to the Linebacker University at Penn State. At least, that is what we are hoping for. We have such great coaching with so many of them, including Coach Philbin, Coach Ferentz, O'Keefe, Doyle, and McLaughlin, holding experience with coaching the OL. We are now starting to receive the attention we have worked for."

There is no doubt that the OL and the rest of the Hawks will have every opporunity to catch the attention of the national media as they enter this season. After getting the program headed in the right direction with an Alamo Bowl victory, the next step will be getting back to the top of the Big Ten. Certainly, David Porter and the rest of the offensive line hopes they will get every chance at helping carry the Hawks to that stature.

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