REPORT CARD TO DATE: It would be hard to not grade last year as an ‘A' for a true freshman that put up the following numbers: 49 catches, most for any true freshman in the country, 654 receiving yards (#2 among true frosh nationally), with both of those figures being the best ever marks for an Iowa freshman, be they a true freshman or a redshirt freshman.
But that's what Dominique Douglas did in 2006. He didn't arrive on campus with much fanfar or any all American status. But once his season was over, a big question was how did Michigan allow Douglas to get out of the state?
At 6-1, 190 pounds, Douglas has all the size he needs to perform well. He isn't a speed burner, but his speed is good enough. What he lacks in straight ahead speed, he more than makes up in precise route running and beyond his years blocking, traits that allowed him to see the field during his first year on campus. Many of you will remember the block that wasn't early on in the season last year, where Douglas would have clipped on a play had he made the block. Kirk Ferentz certainly noticed that and talked about afterwards, in the light of a true freshman making such a heady on field decision.
Douglas had a few drops last year (he wasn't alone), but for the most part, he showed excellent hands. The sky is clearly the limit for this kid.
2007 OFF SEASON PERFORMANCE: The sky is the limit as long as he takes care of his schoolwork, that is. He was running with the second stringers during the open spring practice, and later would answer questions about that; he had gotten himself into an early spring semester hole in the classroom and he was digging out of it. The good news is that Douglas' name was not among those leaving school once the first semester ended.
Getting into an academic hole during your first year or 18 months on a college campus isn't all that unusual. Yours truly did the same thing at the same age before going on to finish out a Dean's List career. OK, that was a bit much…true, but a bit much. Douglas displayed so much maturity on the field, so you have to believe he has it in him to show it off the field and take care of business.
QUOTABLE: "We had some discussions in the fall and I told him that my biggest fear for him is that he turns into a jerk. I don't mean that in a bad way, but it's tough, when guys have success as young players, he does play in a prominent position and he is not a left guard. You worry about thinking that you have arrived, that mentality. If his goal is to be a starter at Iowa then he is probably in trouble. We are hoping that he has motives and goals that are higher than that. That being said, he has worked hard and he has a great future here. There is not anyone involved with our team or program, starring with me, that can't get better. But you do worry about it with younger guys that have had success. Dominique Douglas…he didn't make all Big Ten, but that is the next thing he can work on. Hopefully he can get there some day." –Kirk Ferentz, Spring 2007
THIS AND THAT: Iowa fans were certainly excited to see Andy Brodell emerge late in the year, with back to back 159 yard games against Minnesota and Texas. Douglas had to be loving that as well, because having two receiving options on the outside is always better than just one. If both players can be consistent in 2007, that could spell big things for this offense. We all saw that Brodell has big play capability, and we know that Douglas is capable of such things as well. It could be a ‘pick your poison' kind of year for Jake Christensen throwing to either Brodell or Douglas, not to mention tight end Tony Moeaki, one of the running backs out of the backfield and/or a receiver in the slot.
It's great to have options, and Iowa might have its most receiving options since 2002, when Brad Banks was throwing to Mo Brown, CJ Jones and Dallas Clark.
The Dominique Douglas File
Ranked first in the nation among all freshman in receptions (49) and ranked second in receiving yards (654) . . . his reception total and receiving yards both rank as the best ever for an Iowa freshman . . . ranked seventh in the Big Ten in punt returns (10.2) . . . his 654 receiving yards is 26th-best single season total at Iowa . . . one of three true freshmen to see action in 2006 . . . started at wide receiver vs. Iowa State in third game of the season, becoming first true freshman to start a game since 2003, when FB Champ Davis started vs. Miami, OH and OL Mike Jones started vs. Ohio State . . . one of three Iowa recruits who took part in the NFL's "Play It Smart" program as a prep . . . as part of his experience he was selected to attend 2006 Super Bowl Media Day and have his article featured on NFLHS.com.
2006 Honors - - Selected to first team all-Big Ten Freshman team by The Sporting News . . . selected to third team Freshman all-America team by The Sporting News . . . 2006 - - Led team with 49 receptions and ranked second in receiving yards (654) . . . averaged 10.2 yards on 14 punt returns . . . saw first action of career in opening win over Montana as offense gained 416 yards total offense . . . had three receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown vs. Montana, with a long of 30 yards . . . first career reception was a nine yard touchdown catch in the second quarter . . . also had one punt return for 25 yards . . . saw action in double overtime win at Syracuse, but had no statistics . . . earned first start of his career by starting at WR in win Iowa State . . . led team with six receptions for 88 yards vs. Iowa State, with a long of 24 yards . . . also had one rushing attempt for four yards . . . started at wide receiver in win at Illinois, recording five receptions for 64 yards . . . started at wide receiver in loss to top-ranked Ohio State, recording four receptions for 63 yards . . . started at wide receiver in win over Purdue as offense reached season high marks in points (47) and rushing yards (286) . . . four receptions for 90 yards vs. Purdue, including a long of 37 yards . . . started at wide receiver in loss at Indiana at offense gained 467 yards total offense . . . had one reception for 25 yards to set up Iowa's first touchdown vs. Indiana before leaving the game later in the first half with an injury . . . started at wide receiver in loss at Michigan . . . recorded six receptions for 63 yards vs. Michigan and had 27 yards on three punt returns . . . started at wide receiver in win over Northern Illinois as offense gained 405 yards total offense . . . three receptions for 20 yards vs. Northern Illinois, including a six-yard TD catch . . .also had 19 yards on three punt returns . . . started at wide receiver in loss to Northwestern . . . career-best seven receptions vs. Northwestern for 78 yards . . . also had two punt returns for 12 yards . . . started at wide receiver in loss to Wisconsin . . . one reception for 13 yards vs. Wisconsin and one punt return for nine yards . . . started at wide receiver in loss at Minnesota as offense gained season-best 546 yards total offense . . . six catches for 67 yards vs. Minnesota, along with three punt returns for 53 yards . . . started at wide receiver in Alamo Bowl vs. Texas . . . recorded three receptions for 40 yards vs. Texas, with a long of 17 yards.
High School honors - - Named to the Blue Chip Dream Team as a senior... also earned first team all-state and was captain of the all-city team... first team all-city as a junior... Career - - made 155 career receptions for 1,740 yards and 26 touchdowns... as a senior, he made 85 receptions for 1,011 yards and 18 touchdowns, was 3-off-4 passing with two touchdowns and a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown... also played safety, where he had 22 career interceptions and 168 tackles... two-year member of the honor roll... two-year captain.
Personal - - Born 3/11/88 . . . undecided major . . . mother is Kathy Bowie . . . high school coach was Andre Harlan.
Douglas's Collegiate Stats