This Hawkeye off-season, on paper, appears to be one of the busiest under Coach Ferentz since he arrived. The program has many holes to plug due to graduating seniors and one early NFL entry. But, there is young blood ready to play! Here is an inside look into what players may be making the move to a new position this spring.
"Will" Linebacker Chad Greenway
Position Switch: Tight End/"Leo" Linebacker
A move to tight end is under serious consideration from the Hawkeye staff right now for one of their major young stars. Greenway, who played quarterback in high school, has the speed and agility desired at the tight end position. In fact, he is one of the most athletic Hawkeyes on the roster. If Mike Follett is choosen for a move to TE, then Greenway could also be moved to the "Leo" spot to help open space for Edmond Miles at "Will."
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 55%
"Leo" Linebacker Mike Follett
Position Switch: Tight End/"Mike" Linebacker
Follett's track record as a quarterback and star soccer player also speaks volume for the staff's interest in moving the former Valley prep to tight end. Follett also carries a bigger frame than Greenway as he could easily jump into the 260 and above range, presenting a better blocking TE. The staff will also look into possibly moving Follett over to "Mike" to fill the #2 gap behind Abdul Hodge this spring.
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 45%
"Will" Linebacker Edmond Miles
Position Switch: Strong Safety
This move was given much more serious consideration before Dallas Clark had decided to enter the draft. Why? Because now the staff is contemplating moving Greenway to tight end, leaving a hole for the #2 spot at "Will." Edmond has great instincts and speed at 220, and will likely never get much bigger than 225. He only stands in the 5'11/6'0 range, also, potentially hurting his chances at the next level as a linebacker. Edmond is also more explosive to the ball and straight ahead faster than teammate Marcus Paschal. However, Paschal really increased his performance during bowl practices so this move is looking more and more unlikely.
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 25%
Tight End CJ Barkema
Position Switch: Offensive Line
This has been a widely spread rumor since the day CJ stepped foot on campus. After quickly beefing up to above 280, the rumors were even more rampant this time last year. CJ is back down in the 265 area, but continues to lack the speed desired by the staff to be the starting TE. CJ is very much in the same mold as Robert Gallery, and could be a real option on the offensive line this spring. A move there could push Chris Felder inside to a guard position, but either way the staff would have excellent future bookends with Blake Larsen on the left side.
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 70%
Quarterback Matt Bohnet
Position Switch: Fullback
This is a move that was first examined by the Hawkeye coaching staff when recruiting Bohnet out of Michigan. Bohnet carries the toughness and willingness to help the team that is coveted in a fullback. Matt also is a good athlete. He does not have much running experience, but this would be a move made for the long-term. Right now, though, Matt has been a great understudy at quarterback and is a vocal leader. With no apparent starter or #2 option at quarterback, this move is likely going to put on "thought process hold" this off-season. However, until next..........?
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 20%
Wide Reciever Ed Hinkel
Position Switch: Free Safety
This was the position Ed was originally recruited to play coming out of Cathedral Prep. Hinkel showed this fall the type of toughness he has out on the field, and he carries as much as heart as any of his teammates. Although the staff has a hole to fill at both positions, this move will likely reflect on the confidence they have in Calvin Davis and/or David Vickers to make a contribution next fall. The academics of James Townsend may also be a deciding factor.
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 40%
Defensive End Jonathan Babineaux
Position Switch: Defensive Tackle
This potential move began to surface minutes after Matt Roth had switched to end. Babineaux had a problem this fall---locking up with lineman in the open field too often, and is not much of a playmaker on the outside. He is a very tough nosed player who has great acceleration and strength. Already beefed up in the 270 range, a lot of people believe it'd benefit Jonathan best to add another 15 to 20 pounds for the move to defensive tackle. This move would also help create a starting spot for Roth at end, which many believe could give the Hawks two All-American options at end.
CHANCES OF MOVE? - 60%
OTHER RELEVANT TIDBITS:
Tony Jackson has no desire to leave the tight end position, and he will be called upon this spring.
Expect Jermire Roberts to move back to free safety this spring in the competition to take over after Pagel's departure. If George Lewis's recovery is slower than expected, Jermire could quickly be moved back.
The chances of Derreck Robinson beefing up to move inside instead of Jonathan Babineaux are not that likely. The staff is still looking for more commitment from Derreck and they want an impact DT to start alongside Clauss with this move. Once again, moving Babineaux also opens space for Roth.