FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After two years on the defensive line, Cody Hundertmark will be switching to the other side of the ball according to Kirk Ferentz. The Iowa coach said that was the only position change he's made since the end of the season.
"We fooled around with that at the beginning of (December)," Ferentz said. "Just felt like it might benefit him. And based on however many practices we've had, I think it's going to be a beneficial thing for both Cody and the football team.
"The biggest challenge is for a defensive guy to learn how to pass buckle, but he really looks like he has a natural knack. So we're excited to see what he can do this spring."
Hundertmark played as a true freshman in 2007, recording two tackles in limited duty. After navigating through some injuries, the Humboldt, Iowa native red shirted in 2008. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder played in two games this season.
Iowa loses seniors Rafael Eubanks and Kyle Calloway off of its offensive line next season, and there's a chance Bryan Bulaga and Dace Richardson could leave college eligibility behind for the NFL after Tuesday's Orange Bowl down here.
The Hawkeyes return all four starting defensive linemen next season.
LOOKING AHEAD: With all the talk about Bulaga and Richardson leaving for the NFL with eligibility, not much has been made of the chances for Calloway and Eubanks.
"I've been an undersized guy my whole football career," Eubanks said. "Looking at the next level, it's going to be the same thing. But I'm going to give it a shot. I don't want to be two or three years out wishing I gave it a shot when I didn't.
"That way I'll find out if I'm not good enough or I'm too small. They can tell me that and I'll be fine."
Eubanks feels like he'll be a free agent after the April Draft.
"That's fine with me," he said. "You get an opportunity, you just have to go with it. So, that's what I expect to do. Hopefully I can get lucky and catch on with somebody."
LOOKING AHEAD II: Eubanks' exit will open up the center position to a new starter in ‘10. The contenders likely will be former walk-on Josh Koeppel and James Ferentz, the coach's son. Both hail from Iowa City, City High.
"It's going to be a big fight," Eubanks said of the competition. "Whoever comes out on top is going to be playing good football because both of those guys are going to be pushing each other. Whoever comes out there, I'm confident, is going to be able to step right in and play well."
Bulaga and Eubanks both felt like Adam Gettis could step into an opening on the offensive line next season.
"Adam has all the tools," Eubanks said. "He's very explosive. He's a tough-nosed guy. He's just a guy that kind of has to see the whole picture.
"Coach Ferentz always talks about seeing the whole picture; thinking things through conceptually. It's more the mental side is what I'm getting at. Once he gets that side, he will be a guy that you'll definitely see out there."
From the true freshmen group, Nolan MacMillan has stood out this season. He was enjoying strong workouts in bowl preparation until being sidelined by an injury. He was working with the No. 1s in the preseason when Bulaga and Calloway were sidelined with injuries.
"When he was in there (for bowl prep), he was getting reps with the twos at tackle," Eubanks said. "He's a big guy. When you see him around, he looks like he's in his third, fourth, fifth year. The biggest part is the mental side of it. Guys can come in and be physically ready but with zone blocking there are a lot of different keys and stuff like that. When guys can pick that up, that's when you really see them develop and start playing well."
"I'm pretty much 100 percent," Stanzi said. "We've had plenty of weeks to get back. I'm on schedule with the rehabilitation or whatever you want to call it. I've been able to do what I thought I'd be able to do and more to this point."
"I'm definitely a big fan of him," Angerer said. "He's 100 times the player that I am. He's just a great player and a great representative of the sport. He's definitely on honor to be compared to him."
"He'll do a good job," Edds said. "He's fast. He's not quite as big as me, but he's long and can run, so he'll do a good job. When the twos practices, he does a good job. He's really smart."
-Depending on how you look at it, Ferentz won the battle of press conferences Monday morning at the media hotel in Fort Lauderdale. His question-and-answer session lasted 17 minutes compared to six for Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson.
"That was easier than going to the dentist," Johnson said as his talk ended.