Posted by: marcmwm | July 14, 2008

Iowa’s most important recruit???

It might end up being Trent Mossbrucker.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080714/SPORTS0202/807140354/1057/SPORTS02

http://blogs.indystar.com/adams/2007/10/mr_football_candidate_trent_mo.html

We’ve been over Iowa’s placekicking last season under Austin Signor and Daniel Murray, but it deserves review.

The Hawkeyes finished 10th in the Big Ten with a .625 field goal kicking percentage (10 of 16), just ahead of last place and Big Ten winless Minnesota. Iowa finished last in PAT percent, missing four PATs including a pair in the West Michigan loss (ultimately, they didn’t come back to haunt). I will say this about the kickers. Iowa was breaking in a new long snapper for field goals and punter Ryan Donahue was in his first year as the holder. It was Signor’s and Murray’s first seasons on the field, too. That’s a lot of first timers.

That said, the job will certainly be open when Iowa begins fall camp at or around Aug. 4.

Mossbrucker is an athlete, which brings the comparisons to all-forever kicker Nate Kaeding. At Iowa City West, Kaeding was a state champion in football, soccer and basketball. During his career at quarterback for Mooresville (Ind.) High School, Mossbrucker set school records for completions (525) and yards (4,208) while throwing for 39 TDs.

His kicking numbers weren’t too shabby, either. Last season, he was 8-for-11 on field goals and missed just one extra point in 48 attempts. Also, 46 of his 65 kickoffs were touchbacks.

That’s not to say expect another Kaeding. I’m not one for outlandish predictions, unless you guys consider 5-7 outlandish (I’m not predicting that, not yet).

This was from April 17 near the end of spring practice, but here’s what coach Kirk Ferentz had to say about kicking duties at the time:

Responding to a question if anyone had claimed the kicking job, “In one word, no. We have seen good and we have seen bad. In my mind, it’s even right now at this point. That will go into the summer as well.”

I’m going to put the over/under at two for Iowa football games this fall that will be decided by good or bad special teams play.

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Responses

  1. Sounds like Mossbrucker is a heck of a kid too. Competition will be good for every position going into the fall (which is getting closer!).

  2. If I had to rank Iowa’s top five incoming freshmen, it’d go this way:

    1) RB Jeff Brinson — I think the kid is the real deal. He was so productive on the highest level of prep football in FLA.
    2) Trent Mossbrucker — Iowa needs kicker to become settled yesterday. The touchbacks are particularly intriguing.
    3) Amari Spievey — I keep forgetting about this guy. Iowa needs DB help and Spievey COULD provide that instantly.
    4) Marcus Wilson/Shonn Greene — Believe them when I see them.
    5) DeMarco Paine — Could be a WR or DB. I think he plays either way.

  3. Marc,
    What are your thoughts about how people view recruiting rankings. Have some of the blue-chip busts reduced interest? Do you think people are starting to realize that the only gauge of how good players are going to be is when they produce on the field and behave off of it?

  4. Yeah, Shonn Greene is a mystery. There were times he looked unstoppable on the field but the question may be his physical/mental shape.

  5. Hey KJ,

    It’s almost football! I can almost stand to watch 10 minutes of SportCenter again!!

    I think people still put stock in the recruiting rankings. The national championship-caliber teams restock with four-star recruits and are back in the national title conversation the next year. I’m talking USC, Florida, Ohio State and LSU. That ilk.

    I think the interest is huge in the rankings. It’s instant gratification. No one wants to actually wait three years to see if the four-star guy actually does something. Recruiting is like mini-games that can be played anytime of the year.

    Iowa happened to lose one last night when KC-area QB Nathan Scheelhaase picked Illinois over the Hawkeyes. What especially hurt was Nathan’s dad is Nate Creer, former Hawkeye DB.

    Instant gratification is a liquid commodity in college football. That’s where recruiting comes in.

  6. Greg,

    It might just be me, but those times that Shonn Greene looked unstoppable on the field, I feel, have been few and far between.

    He had 116 yards against Ball State in 2005. That was the suspension game for Ball State, when it was less than JV caliber. His next best was ’06 Purdue when he gained 88 yards on 11 carries in a 47-17 victory. He also had 54 in a 24-7 win against Illinois.

    The stat I do see that could provide optimism is the 6.4 yards on 32 carries he had in ’06. Also, he had moments of abandon on special teams in ’06, perhaps prompting his short-lived move to safety.

    I feel like I’m the only one flying the caution flag on Shonn Greene, but I need to see more, a lot more, before I’m handing him the keys to No. 1 running back.

  7. Yeah Marc, everyone wants to give Greene the #1 marker and nothing will be automatic, especially this year. In regard to recruiting, I do some dabbling on the boards and can’t belive the knowledge some fans have on every single HS player. It’s amazing. Finally, I will add that the Zooker definitely can recruit.

  8. I think in Scheelhaase’s case the sell was easy. The Illini’s QB cabinet empties out sooner than Iowa’s. The opportunity will be there. But yeah, Ron Zook could recruit tourists to a sinking ship.


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