Iowa signed five offensive linemen in the 2009 recruiting class. If you think it’s a cut-and-dry five guys slotted into five positions, think again.
Coach Kirk Ferentz brought up Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Willie Colon. The point Ferentz was trying to make was offensive tackles don’t always have to be 6-foot-7.
“I think all of those guys have position flexibility,” Ferentz said. “The Steelers just won the Superbowl with a 6-3 right tackle, actually 6-027. He was under 6-3 playing tackle in the NFL and won a Superbowl, so I would think we could beat some teams in our league doing the same thing.”
Actually, Iowa has already done that. Marshal Yanda played left tackle for the Hawkeyes in 2006. In 2007, he made 12 starts at right tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Last season, he started at right guard before a knee injury sidelined him for the season.
Drew Clark, a two-time all-stater for Class 3A Marion, set a school recored with 119 pancake blocks. He also played D-line and had 130 tackles.
He’s also very, very, very smart, carrying a 4.15 GPA and top 10 in his class academically. He’s interested in studying engineering at Iowa.
Clark’s uncle, Craig, was a letterwinner as a tight end for the Hawkeyes from 1984-87.
Asked if he saw Clark as a guard, Ferentz said:
“I wouldn’t limit him to that. He has guard/tackle potential. He could probably be a center, too. He is smarter than anyone on our coaching staff (he said this with a laugh). He is highly intelligent, very quiet, but I’ll tell you, I think he’s very productive and very tough. I’m really excited about him.”