Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was as definitive as he’s ever been when the NFL question came up Wednesday. Recently-hired Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and Ferentz became friends when the two worked together in Cleveland and Baltimore. Since Pioli fired Herm Edwards, Kansas City is in the market for a coach.
“Unless I get hit by a truck, I’ll see you on March 25,” Ferentz said about the first day of spring football practice. “If I get hit by a truck, I can’t help you there. But my plans are to be here, and I said that back on New Year’s Day.”
“There’s really not much to say right now,” Ferentz said. “We’ve had conversations. Everything is in good shape. It’s hardly been major on my radar the last few weeks.”
Christensen, who lost his starting job to junior Ricky Stanzi last season, is taking classes at the UI and plans to graduate in May. He hasn’t announced where he plans to transfer.
“He’ll be a real asset to whatever team he goes to,” Ferentz said. “I wish him nothing but great things.”
Red-shirt freshmen James Vandenberg and John Wienke are now fighting out for Nos. 2 and 3 QB, Ferentz said. Sophomore Marvin McNutt, the No. 3 QB in the Outback Bowl, is now a full-time wide receiver.
“They competed really well in the fall,” Ferentz said. “We were pleased with what we saw in both guys. That’ll be one thing we’ll be anxious to see this spring, how that thing shapes up.”
Since announcing that he’s entering treatment, Iowa has stopped its search for a replacement.
“First and foremost, we’re all concerned for Ed and wish him nothing but the best,” Ferentz said. “Secondly, it’d be wonderful if he rejoins our program. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. With all due respect to everyone else, I can’t imagine anyone else sitting in that chair.”
— Seventeen of Iowa’s 19 signees were captains for their high school teams and 18 of the 19 were multi-sport athletes. Eight recruits won state championships.