Posted by: marcmwm | October 21, 2008

Ferentz B10 tele and “going early” history lesson

He did say that G Seth Olsen’s sprained ankle is still sprained.

He talked about Shonn Greene and going pro. Basically, this is a wait-and-see deal. It’s sort of a poker game, as far as who’s coming out and who’s staying in and who stays healthy.

Former Iowa RB Albert Young, who’s now on the Vikings’ practice squad, told me this last week: “He’s got to look at everything, talk it over with his family, talk it over with the Iowa coaches. He’s got to look at who’s coming out and not get caught up in the fact that he’s up in the Big Ten in rushing. There might be a third- or fourth-string running back at USC coming out. You’ve got to really look at who’s coming out and what’s there.”

And here’s Ferentz on Tuesday:

“We have had players who have had decisions in the past. We haven’t had as many as some other programs. Probably the clearest example and the most vivid would be after the 2002, both Robert Gallery and Dallas Clark had decisions to make. One guy opted to leave and more on and one guy opted to stay. It worked out beautifully for both people. When the time is appropriate and this is all very premature . . . I think the season needs to play out and then we will all sit down and have all the factual information and have an intelligent conversation.

“At the end the day, I would want for Shonn what I want for every player in our program, which is what is best for him.”

I remember when Dallas Clark passed on his senior year. Dallas was in the same boat as Shonn. He would’ve been a 24-year old senior. Greene will be 24 next August 21. That’s a huge factor in this. His legs look great this season, but he’s also had a meniscus repair. As someone who’s had two of those, not fun, diminished strength. I’m sure Shonn took his rehad maybe a little bit more seriously than I did.

I went back and checked out the story when Clark announced that he was going to enter the draft. I forgot what an incredible story that Clark was for the Hawkeyes. Seriously incredible.

I know this is massive for a blog, but I’m going to paste that story here for those who are interested in a little recent history. I forgot about a lot of this stuff:

IOWA CITY – Dallas Clark arrived at Iowa with a broken collarbone,
a murky promise of a spot as a walk-on and darned near no money.

He leaves as one of Iowa’s all-time best tight ends and, if he
cleans up well for NFL scouts, a wealthy young man.

Clark, everyone’s all-American this season, announced
Wednesday he will skip his senior season and enter April’s NFL
draft.

“Before I even decided, whatever decision I made it was going
to be 100 percent, never looking back,” Clark said.
“I’m not going to live in the world of ‘what ifs,
what ifs.’ If I get drafted in the fifth round or if I got
hurt, this is my life and I’m going to live with the rewards
and consequences. I feel great about this opportunity and my
decision.”

Iowa went 2-for-3 in Hawkeyes shunning the NFL Wednesday.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, who interviewed for the Jacksonville
Jaguars opening last week, dropped out of the running and received
a raise, UI Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby said.

Offensive tackle Robert Gallery, who considered skipping his senior
year next year, will remain a Hawkeye.

“I’m staying,” Gallery said. “I’m not
filing papers (to the NFL offices), and I’m not looking back.
This is the right decision for me. I belong at Iowa for another
year.”

Clark, a junior from Livermore, is the first Iowa player to skip a year of eligiblity since tight end Jonathan Hayes passed up the 1985 season for the draft.

Clark, 23, said he’ll remain on campus this semester to train
but won’t enroll in classes. He said he intends to finish his
degree and pursue a teaching career.

Clark kept himself composed and thanked Ferentz, strength coach
Chris Doyle, tight ends coach Reese Morgan, Bowlsby and his family.

“It’s been a really hard decision, one of the toughest I
think I’ll make,” Clark said. “I know that it’s
probably going to upset a lot of people I’m not coming back.
But I thought a lot about it. This is the right thing for me. At
this point in my life, I have to look out for my best
interests.”

Clark’s story is nothing short of incredible. He began his
Iowa football life in 1998 as a part-time student with a broken
collarbone. Former Iowa coach Hayden Fry promised Clark a chance to
make the team and came through on the promise.

“We’ve got to put Hayden in there, because it was Hayden
who gave him a chance,” said Doug Clark, Dallas’ dad.

Clark became a full-time student and a full-fledged team member in
January ’99. But two days before the season opener against
Nebraska – Ferentz’s first game as head coach – Clark had an
emergency appendectomy.

The first two semesters in ’98 were particularly difficult.

His mom, Jan, died two days before he graduated from Twin Rivers
High School. With two sons finishing college, Doug Clark had a
tough time helping his youngest son make ends meet.

“Maybe we didn’t have the greatest stuff, but we enjoyed
what we had and it worked,” Doug Clark said. “But I do
know that any kid in America who says he can’t support
college, I can testify he can.”

Dallas Clark basically lived on his own that first year.

“It was really hard,” said Clark, who has some $15,000 in
student loans. “I just didn’t feel like a college
freshman, because I had so many responsibilities.

“I was by myself, so I had to handle that. I had to grow up. I
didn’t get to enjoy the finer things at college. But to play
even just one game at Kinnick Stadium, it was all worth it.”

Before being awarded a full scholarship in fall ’01, Clark
played football, took classes and worked. He held a summer job with
UI grounds services, which included mowing Kinnick Stadium.

“I woke up at 6 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said
Clark, who started as an outside linebacker and made a splash on
special teams before moving to tight end in spring 2001. “I
mowed Kinnick Stadium and mowed the baseball stadium, both softball
fields, both soccer fields. I fixed sprinkler heads. I mowed the
complex. That helped me pay the bills.”

He mowed Kinnick, then he owned Kinnick.

The deadline for underclassmen to file for draft eligibility was
Wednesday at 5 p.m. Players then get 72-hour window to reconsider.

Clark is definitely going. Gallery is definitely staying.

Gallery, a 6-foot-7, 305-pounder, would have been a mid-round
selection this year.

“I talked to a lot of NFL people and everyone said late first
round or early second, but I had already made up my mind,”
Gallery said. “I want to be the top offensive tackle in the
draft next year. I want to help this team achieve next year.”

Clark said his age was a factor. He’ll be 24 in June. Next
year would have been his sixth year at Iowa.
Clark talked to NFL scouts from the Ravens, Patriots and Colts. He
sees himself as a “solid second-rounder.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper rated Clark as the No. 3 junior tight end in
the nation.

Late first-round picks get contracts in the $5 million to $7
million range with signing bonuses of about $1.5 million.
Third-rounders get contracts in the $2 million range with signing
bonuses of about $700,000.

“I think Dallas is going to be a guy they can split out, use
as a slot receiver, a lot like the Giants use (Jeremy)
Shockey,” said Marv Cook, a former all-American tight end at
Iowa who had a Pro Bowl career in the NFL.
“I think he’ll be great in motion, being able to get in
trips and work the three-man, West Coast-style offense with another
tight end. I think he’ll be able to contend for a starting job
right now.”

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Responses

  1. Great article and thanks for reposting that here.

    Mel Kiper said some pretty nice things about SG and his rise on draft boards. Gotta figure if he keeps this production up, and who sees a letdown now?, that he’s gone and rightfully so.

    I’ll be surprised if he isn’t close to 1,850 when all is said and done, he AND THAT O-LINE are that good. Those kids know what/who they’re blocking for and are gonna bust it every snap for him and vice versa.

  2. Some tough matchups coming up, Ill. and PSU. If they keep it going, who knows what’s on this team’s plate.

    Two biggest games of the season.

  3. Every game of the next four will be tough, but winnable if we keep away from TO’s.

  4. It’a amazing how many games are winnable when then running game is really clicking. Schemes come and go, but a solid running game and solid defense always seems to be a winner.

    As for Greene going pro, I hate to say it, but it probably is in his best interest to move on to the NFL next year. What’s the average career of a pro running back? Three, four years tops? It will be awfully tempting for Shonn to move on and cash a few big checks while he can.

  5. You’re right, Tim.

    I know that Fox’s Chris Landry is saying Greene isn’t a first rounder, but I think even at second and third, it’s still the smart financial play.

    I don’t see how anyone could begrudge him.

    Let’s look at RB sans Greene next season:

    Paki — Better than I thought. Is an every-down, go-to Big Ten running back? Probably not.

    Jewel — What’s not to like? Is he every-down? He’s not a big back. I think, and this is so early and probably not worth the internet it’s written on, his upside is a Mike Hart type. Small package with surprising power.

    Jeff Brinson — We don’t know a heckuva lot about him. He didn’t play during the open practice in August and he’s taking the redshirt. You have to think he’s close to something. They changed his number from 34 to 44 a few weeks ago, meaning he was somewhat in the mix. If he came to Iowa as advertised, in the 215-pound range, he should be 220 next fall.

    Adam Robinson — He’s seemed to be a Fred Russell/Damian Sims type. He might be bigger than that, though. He was elevated from grayshirt status, so they saw something they liked.

    Brandon Wegher — He’s putting up broken video game numbers at Heelan. Is he a D-I RB? Is a safety? I don’t know. I haven’t seen him play. I do, from afar mind you, get a Tim Dwight vibe. That’s not a bad thing.


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