Big 10 Media Day and Football Tidbits

Iowa is a week away from the start of football practice, and the official start to the 2007 football season. The Unofficial beginning of the season is today, as the Big Ten holds its annual media days event. We talk about that as well as what is coming down the pike content wise, plus we share some of the latest rumblings we have heard come out of Iowa City related to the upcoming season...

The Big Ten Media Days have arrived, as all 11 coaches from the league's Universities are in Chicago and will meet with the Media on Tuesday.

HawkeyeNation.com is there as well, and will be filing reports later this afternoon from downtown Chicago.

This is the event that signals the ‘kickoff' of our annual football coverage, and we take pride in providing you with wall to wall pigskin content over the course of the next several months.

We wanted to take the time to remind those of you that have been around here for a while what to expect over the course of the next seven days and beyond. Or if this will be your first football season with us here at HawkeyeNation.com, we want you to know what to expect.

BIG TEN MEDIA DAYS -Today and Wednesday: Interview transcripts, audio and some photos from the events in Chicago. This will include interviews with Kirk Ferentz, Albert Young, Bryan Mattison and Mike Klinkenborg.

MONDAY, AUGUST 6th- Iowa Football Media Day: Next week might be the busiest content week of the year, as we will roll out countless interview transcripts, audio interviews, photos and more innovations. It's the day we choose to profile the latest additions to our coverage, and we try to add a new wrinkle to what we do each year. You'll get a chance to see that next week; there will be at least 50 content items that emanate from Iowa football Media day.

MONDAY, AUGUST 27th- Monday Morning Quarterback with Chuck Hartlieb: The former Iowa signal caller will be back for his 5th year as HawkeyeNation.com's Iowa football expert. Each Monday, we will provide a Q&A with Hartlieb that breaks down the previous week's game and provides a look ahead towards Iowa's upcoming opponent. The August 27th interview will be a general season preview through the eyes of a former 1st Team All Big Ten quarterback and NFL draft pick.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 28th- Weekly Iowa Football Press Conferences: It's not just Tuesday at HawkeyeNation.com during Iowa's football season; we like to call it ‘Super Tuesday', as we provide loads of content from Iowa's in week press conference. Audio, Video and transcripts will be the norm, from the players as well as Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. It's a mother lode of content each and every Tuesday and Wednesday.

PREGAME FRIDAYS: The HawkeyeNation.com staff will provide their weekly predictions on Iowa's upcoming game.

FOOTBALL SATURDAYS: No media outlet provides more and timely Iowa game coverage than HawkeyeNation.com, with our numerous photo galleries, player interviews and transcripts, plus video. You'll know it all by the time you go to bed.

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BITS AND PIECES HEADING INTO CAMP

I had the chance to talk with a few of my Iowa football sources this week, and this is what I was able to gather.

The players know that there is not much in the way of expectations for this club heading into the 2007 season. Sure, they see that people think they will win eight or nine games, but their goals are much higher than that.

The players have been spending a lot of time this summer breaking down film, especially film of the last four football games against Wisconsin. There isn't an arrogance within the team, but let's just say there is a quiet confidence regarding how the team feels about their chances heading into the nationally televised night game at Camp Randall in mid-September.

The feeling is that Wisconsin benefited from a couple of busted plays last year, and they don't believe that Travis Beckum is going to surprise them this year like he did many teams last year.

Wisconsin beat a grand total of three teams last year that finished with a winning record, including Purdue, a team that Iowa demolished in Kinnick. Iowa fell to the Badgers 24-21 last year in Iowa City. Though they have respect for Wisconsin, they are not yet ready to bow down at the Badgers altar as some folks are around the nation.

As I stated in a recent post on the message boards and have heard again a few times since, it appears that a light is turning on for WR Trey Stross. That's not to say that the same thing isn't happening with other players on the team, but Stross' name is one that I continue to hear pop up, in a good way.

Another such player receiving frequent mention is RS FR DL Adrian Clayborn. Adjectives such as ‘animal' and ‘beast' have been bandied around a bit. Apparently, he has been a tireless worker in the weight room and film study sessions, and folks inside Ft. Kinnick are expecting him to be a factor this year, though you will not hear any public admissions along those lines. He also might be closer to 290 than his listed 275, as one person told me that Iowa likes to ‘sandbag' a little bit on some of the listed weights on the roster. I don't know if that is true or not; we'll see. I did hear that he threw up nine reps on the squat rack of 450 pounds and his fifth rep seemed as fluid as the first.

Iowa is always testing the players against the clock and against one another, to keep things competitive during the summer. I have had two different people tell me that the fastest 20-yard shuttle time this summer was put up not by Charles Godfrey, who has the best 40 yard dash time, not by Paul Chaney Jr. who did well in track this summer, but by QB Jake Christensen. Jake also is cleaning 327 pounds.

QB Marvin McNutt has made a solid transition from home to summer college life, as seems to be popular amongst his teammates with his attitude and willingness to work. Tony Moeaki is showing no ill effects from his shoulder injury from the spring.

That's all I've got for right now…football season is right around the corner; four weeks from today, we'll be in full game week mode, previewing Iowa's season opener against Northern Illinois.


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