It's always good to temper your enthusiasm when watching the Iowa Spring Event on Saturday, but it was tough not to notice Tyler Gerstandt. The sophomore walk-on from Cherokee not only caught everything thrown his way by whoever threw it, but the tight end showed some speed and elusiveness after the catch.
Gerstandt spent last season at wide receiver and dressed for most games during the second half of 2006 when injuries and inconsistency hit the position. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz tossed out his name at Wednesday press conference as someone who was making some strides at his new position.
During the shell drills at the event's outset, Gerstandt was beating linebackers and defensive backs and took passes into the end zone. He showed excellent quickness for a man listed at 6-6, 220.
Iowa was searching for depth at tight end this spring with the graduation of Scott Chandler and Ryan Majerus. Starter Tony Moeaki hurt his shoulder this spring and missed most of the workouts, which helped open up reps for Gerstandt.
Gerstandt played at Washington High School where he earned second team all-state honors and all-District recognition as a senior. He caught 52 balls for 873 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior, and gained 259 yards on 19 receptions as a junior, with five touchdowns. He also lettered in basketball (3), baseball (2) and track and field (1).
*The often talked about Derrell Johnson-Koulianos offered everybody a glimpse of why he was hyped by ESPN Analyst Kirk Herbstreit. DJK jetted down the left sideline during the shell drill and hauled in a beautiful reception with blanket coverage. The play happened right in front of Jon Miller and me and it was the easily the most impressive play of the day for me.
*The Iowa Sports Information Department estimated Saturday's attendance to be between 17,000-20,000.
*I got my first look at a few members of the 2007 recruiting class. I tell you, Brian Bulaga is physically impressive. He revealed his age, however, when Steinbach's name was announced and Bulaga got excited and looked around for Cleveland Brown high paid lineman.
*The crowd showed much love to new basketball coach Todd Lickliter when he was announced by the PA. The place erupted.
*One of the coolest things I saw was Gary Barta introducing himself to Hodge and thanking the Green Bay Packers linebacker for coming back.
*James Cleveland looks the part of productive receiver. He runs clean routes, gets off the line, plays physically and owns excellent hands.
*Kirk Ferentz announced that Rob Bruggeman tore his ACL on Wednesday, will have surgery and will miss the '07 season.
*I thought that Dana Brown looked pretty good carrying the ball. He ran one in for a touchdown during the scrimmage and also showed the ability to catch the ball.
*Adrian Clayborn is going to be an important part of the defense this season. He's very active and shows real nice strength for a guy that's still in his first year on campus.
*Jake Christensen sure showed that he can make all of the throws. It's still a process of getting on the same page with his collection of receivers, but that will come in time.
*I thought Rick Stanzi looked pretty good. He has a strong arm and solid accuracy.