Countdown 2008: Trey Stross

Iowa wide receiver Trey Stross has spent more time with the Iowa medical staff than he has on the field during his three years on campus. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but it sure seems that way, which is a shame. Stross has the physical gifts to be a big play threat for the Hawkeyes; will this year be a breakthrough for Iowa's junior to be wide out?

With less than 80 days left before the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, an event that many view as the unofficial ‘kickoff' to the Big Ten football season, has begun a player by player snapshot analysis of the 2008 Iowa football roster.


We will begin by taking a look at the players that were on Iowa's spring depth chart, then proceed through the rest of the roster's scholarship players and key walkons, and finish with a look at the new faces that made up Iowa's recruiting class of 2008.


Next up, Hawkeye wide receiver Trey Stross:


2007 by the Numbers:  Started at wide receiver in opening win over Northern Illinois as offense rushed for 250 yards and gained 383 yards total offense . . . had one pass reception for five yards vs. Northern Illinois . . . did not see action in win over Syracuse due to injury . . . did not see action in loss at Iowa State due to injury . . . did not see action at Wisconsin due to injury . . . saw limited action in loss to Indiana in return from injury . . . one reception vs. Indiana was a 33-yard touchdown catch . . . saw action in loss at Penn State, collecting five receptions for a career-best 69 yards . . . had 11-yard scoring reception for second touchdown in two weeks . . . saw action in win over 18th-ranked Illinois as offense rushed for 141 yards and gained 323 yards total offense . . . had two receptions for 19 yards vs. Illinois . . . did not see action in loss at Purdue due to injury . . . saw action in double OT win over Michigan State as offense gained 230 yards rushing, but had no statistics . . . saw action in win at Northwestern as offense gained 299 passing yards and 369 yards total offense . . . three receptions for career-best 91 yards at Northwestern . . . had a 20-yard scoring reception in the second period for Iowa's first score . . . had career-long 53-yard reception in the fourth quarter to set up Iowa's go-ahead touchdown . . . saw action in win over Minnesota, recording one reception for 13 yards . . . saw action in loss to Western Michigan as offense gained 397 yards total offense . . . three receptions for 42 yards vs. Western Michigan, including 11-yard touchdown reception for Iowa's first touchdown of the game.


HN Analysis:  Stross came to Iowa as a US Army All American, showing great athleticism on his high school highlight tape.  He is still a very good athlete, a natural you might say.  To this point in his Iowa career, Stross has faced two key challenges:  staying healthy and making the routine plays on a consistent basis.


He has battled several hamstring issues, including for the majority of last season.  In fact, I think its fair to say that we have not yet seen Trey Stross take flight in his Iowa career due to his injuries.  That begs a few questions; can Stross stay healthy and on the field all season long?  If he can, will that help with his concentration on the ‘mundane' balls that come his way?


Because we have seen numerous examples of Stross' big play ability and clutch catches on third down, it's just that he might miss a couple passes on first down, mistakes that become magnified when Iowa faces a third and long situation later on in the possession.


Stross is a fiery competitor, and last year there was one instance when that fire ‘overflowed' into some emotions that led to a sideline argument with an Iowa assistant coach.


Some folks criticized Trey for that; at the time I think I was one of them.  In looking back on the season after it was over, Stross' ‘exciteability' was something  the 2007 Iowa team seemed to lack.  There's a time and place for certain things, and I certainly don't write the users manual for such things.  But Stross' reaction to scoring a touchdown along the way last year was probably emblematic to how a lot of people were feeling, including the fans.


Stross can be a weapon, he can stretch the field (Northwestern) and he can run across the middle for you, but only if he is healthy.  Stross had an impressive 17.0 yards per catch average last season on 16 receptions.  We need to see him record 40 or more receptions this year, and thus far in his career, he has scored a touchdown once in every six receptions.   ‘Big Play Trey' is something I'd love to put on the cover of a Hawkeye Nation magazine in the near future.


Here's to hoping that he has put the injury bug behind him in his career and he can have a very productive two-year run; Iowa will be depending on him.


Stross's Collegiate Stats


























Career Bests
Catches:  6 at Indiana, 10/14/06
Yards:     91 at Northwestern, 11/3/07
TDs:        1, four times, last at N'western, 11/3/07
Long:       53 at Northwestern, 11/3/07

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