1. It was a very big coming out party for Matt Roth this past Saturday. His performance helped show why Norm Parker and others had made the comment "Matt will be playing DE on Sundays" this past Media Day. Now the only question remaining is when will he be inserted into the starting line-up? Who will Roth replace in the front four? Howard Hodges is still a favorite of the coaching staff with his explosiveness, technique, and work ethic. Jonathan Babineaux is a more likely candidate to be replaced, especially since he has shown a tendency to get into too much hand to hand combat against lineman this fall without being an asset in open field. Could the staff explore moving Jonathan inside at DT?
2. One player who is more than likely to end up at DT from DE is Lee Gray. Lee has a great frame, and athleticism to go along with it, but does have not the agility and explosiveness that other Hawk DE's currently has. In fact, Lee has been compared to Anthony Herron. This also means he is lacking the first quick step. Anthony remained a good, but not great, player at DE. Due to lack of depth, he could not move to his more natural position. Moving Lee over to DT will help better utilize his size and would give this team some much needed depth at DT entering this spring.
3. Another position move that will generate a lot of discussion this winter will be the staff's plans on how to best use Ed Hinkel. Ed has shown to be a very tough-nosed WR this fall, but the staff loves the idea of his physicality being used on the defensive side. When Ed signed his LOI, the staff first envisioned him being a free safety. The Hawks currently are lacking some young depth at this position. Tommy Zbikowski remains as the number one priority for Iowa at free safety. Terion Caldwell also could potentially play there. The staff will likely discuss the option of moving Ed over to defense after Signing Day when they have a better idea of the results of this recruiting class.
4. Some have started looking into next year's offensive line and what the starting line-up will consist look like after four starters depart after this season. Robert Gallery is a lock for the starting position at LT, and will more than likely be a pre-season All-American candidate. Kory Borchers and David Walker will more than likely nail down both guard spots, and Sam Aiello figures to be the starting RT. Brian Ferentz is a logical choice to start at center, but there are worries of injuries due to his size, which means who will back him up? The Shadow keeps plugging away that a surprise position move could be thrown into the equation. Blake Larsen will be penciled in early as the #2 LT, and same goes with Pete McMahon at RT, Eric Rothwell at LG, and Ben Cronin at RG. This leaves open the debated question of who could make the move? The Shadow says keep your eyes open this winter for any potential increases in weight!
5. The Hawks are off to a great start in WR recruiting with promising prospects in Bryon Williams, Cameron Bobb, Herb Grigsby, and James Townsend. In fact, due to the Hawks finding themselves on the top of many of their top WR's lists, they are even able to leave the door open with prospects like Champ Davis. Champ is currently being recruited as a running back, which may not hold out with his 6'2 215 frame, but he is a big-time athlete that can definitely make a contribution somewhere on the field. He has not learned defense, but could very well be an intriguing prospect on that side of the ball.
6. The Shadow also wants to put an end to the discussion of in state recruiting between Hawkeye and Cyclone fans. He does not feel there is any reason for Hawk fans to worry. In fact, he even told me to watch out for several key match-ups over the next 5 years. He clearly is confident that the Hawks win all of them in pairing Jonathon Zanders vs. Milan Moses, Mike Klinkenborg vs. Curtis Taylor, Mike Humpal vs. Taylor Schrage, Alex Willcox vs. John Tjaden, and Clint Huntrods vs. Brandon Cook.
7. The Shadow also says there is no doubt in Iowa City that the Hawkeyes landed the top in-state prospect this year. It took a little longer to find out this year than in previous years, but the feeling around Iowa City is Mike Humpal is the most talented in-state prospect across the board. At 6'2 220, there is not another prospect that moves as well, is as physical, or has the technique he has. He figures to start out at "Leo" for the Hawks on defense, but could also be looked at early as a fullback. This recruiting class may determine his position.
8. The Hawks feel they have one of the nations more underrated quarterbacks visiting the Wisconsin weekend in Lance Parker. He will need to get bigger at only 6'2 175, but he has a very strong arm and moves well in the pocket. He is committed to Vanderbilt, but the Hawks will be working hard to show Mr. Parker there may be a better opportunity for him at Iowa. After all, there seems to be a Monopoly on Parkers in Iowa City, even ones with Vanderbilt ties!
9. Informed sources in Des Moines say that rumors persist that the alleged victim in the Pierre Pierce case has hired high profile Des Moines attorney, Jerry Crawford. What is this about? Crawford, a known publicity hound, may turn this case into a three ring circus worthy of Court TV. Although my Dark Friend had no opinion on this case previously he now proffers that he has never sided with Jerry Crawford on anything. Crawford has been around the Drake program for many years.
10. Are we playing basketball on Saturday? I thought not. This is the Hoosiers but it's football. Antwaan Randle El is now terrorizing NFL defenses rather than Big Ten defenses. Given that fact and how the Hawks are riding a victory train, how could you not predict a blowout?