Sometimes top items get lost during an hour long press conference. HI wades through Kirk Ferentz's introduction to Spring Practice on Wednesday by giving you the "Bullet Points," which today include Clayborn's projected draft position had he come out early, an injury update, spot where we might see true FR on the field this fall, eye-opening comments on Moeaki and Angerer and much, much more.
IOWA CITY, Ia. - Here are the highlights from Wednesday's press conference with Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz. These bullet points come from the main press conference and the On The Side (the press conference after the press conference for those folks new to the party):
On the injury front, starting safeties
Brett Greenwood and Tyler Sash will miss spring practice after having shoulder surgeries in January. Lineman Kyle Haganman (shoulder) and Steve Bigach (knee) also underwent procedures and will miss the spring.
Adam Robinson had surgery on his shoulder and will be out this spring.
Paul Chaney is ready to work this spring but will be limited after an ACL repair last fall. Jewel Hampton (knee) has been cleared by doctors. Ferentz said he'll do some contact work this spring but not be tackled.
Dominic Alvis suffered a groin injury and likely will be limited this spring. Nolan MacMillan had sports hernia surgery before the bowl game and will be less than full speed this spring.
Jordan Bernstine, who had a knee repair last fall, practiced for the bowl at full speed, Ferentz said. Ferentz received feedback in the offseason that defensive end
Adrian Clayborn would have been a first-round NFL draft pick had he come out after his junior season. Asked why the St. Louis product came back knowing that, the coach said "I didn't ask him (laughs). I didn't ask (Robert) Gallery either. I was just like, "OK, I'm thumbs up." Speaking of Clayborn, he pleaded guilty in February in an assault case involving an Iowa City . Ferentz said his senior would face disciplinary action within the team structure but would not miss game time – "It ended up panning out the way I thought it would based on what I knew."
cab driver Ferentz mentioned Marcus Zusevics and Nolan MacMillan several times during his conversations about the offensive line on Wednesday. While he said that the competition was wide open, the coach has had a tendency to give us clues by bringing up a player's name frequently. A notable name from the past was
Karl Klug, who was brought up a lot before hitting it big. Ferentz said that the competition between
James Ferentz and Josh Koeppel at center is dead even heading into the spring. The coach said two poignant things regarding a pair of former Hawkeyes working towards April's NFL Draft.
Tony Moeaki: "Tony is one of the finest players we've had through here in the last 11 years."
Pat Angerer: "Pat's film speaks well for him when you consider his intangibles, he might be as good as any player we have had come through here; just what he added to our football team leadership wise, spirit and all that kind of things. That's going to be a huge void for us." Coach said that he is in favor of Iowa City raising the age limit for entering bars in town from 18. He said he recently asked a veteran player on his team if underage athletes were using fake ID to get served alcohol. The vet told him, no, if you're in the bar you can get it.
Lance Tillison has rejoined the Hawkeyes after leaving before the 2009 season. Ferentz said that the linebacker is not on scholarship "right now." Tillison reached out to the Iowa coaches back in November to ask if they'd be interested in him returning to the team.
Woody Orne has been talked about some on our premium board as a possible player in the offense line mix. Ferentz said the Fairfield native and South Dakota State transfer did a nice job in the fall and the coaches were "anxious to see him." The coach said Orne's case was similar to the Marshal Yanda situation where a local kid grew up physically after high school and then reached out to Iowa with a desire to play in the Big Ten. Ferentz said he was surprised with the toughness of true freshman RB
Brandon Wegher last year: "And I don't mean that in a negative way. As Norm (Parker) says, a year ago he was riding in a yellow school bus. That's usually an adjustment. But he took a shot against Arizona on that screen pass I thought that guy knocked him into the next month. When he came off the field like, "What are you taking me out for?" that was a good sign. He played like that all season long." Ferentz joked around when asked about Derrell Johnson-Koulianos limping around after the Orange Bowl, "He's fine. The cameras were on, right?"
Julian Vandervelde will be the emergency center if something were to happen with James Ferentz and Koeppel. Coach Ferentz said the coaches have liked what they have seen from Conor Boffeli at center. Coach Ferentz talked about
Rick Stanzi's "Love it or Leave it" comment after the Orange Bowl: "I thought it was kind of amusing. I think it was a good answer to a question…I'm still trying to figure out why they have (reporters) on the sidelines. You talk about making budget cuts, that would be a good place to start." Ferentz said the competition at place kicker between incumbent
Daniel Murray and Trent Mossbrucker will be "straight up. It was last year, too. It just worked out that Daniel won the job and afforded us the opportunity to redshirt Trent." Ferentz hinted that we might see one or two true freshmen linebackers on the field this fall. His team is top heavy at the position: "I think it's fair to say we will probably try to get one or two of those guys involved in special teams. They have got to prove that they can do it, too. We are not going to do it just because we want to. They have to prove they can. I think looking down the road that's something we are thinking about."
Keenan Davis to A.J. Edds in terms of a learning curve: "I think he's a more mature guy than he was, obviously, and he's certainly more comfortable with what he's doing. We hope to see him at a whole different speed this spring and we are optimistic we will."