Posted by: marcmwm | June 18, 2009

Ferentz on a whole bunch of stuff

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz took some questions during a news conference Tuesday to discuss sports/life coach Joe Ehrmann’s visit to Iowa City on June 25. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Englert Theatre, with tickets on sale at They’re $12 and $20 at the door. The proceeds will benefit the University of Iowa Childrens’ Hospital.

You can read about Ehrmann and how Kirk and Mary Ferentz believe in his message (along with former Hawkeye kicker Nate Kaeding) here.

Ferentz also talked about some other topics, including an injury to O-lineman Julian Vandervelde and the status of his son and Hawkeyes O-lineman James Ferentz.

Here were some other topics:

— Ferentz was asked about how many incoming freshman reported in Iowa City for summer conditioning, which started earlier this month. (Post here and a link to freshmen Josh Brown, Jordan Cotton, Brandon Wegher and Tyler Harrell working at Kinnick.) He said about half the class has reported, with most of them ducking in and out of Iowa City throughout the summer. A lot of the Iowa kids will participate in the Shrine game. Only one freshman, Nolan MacMillan, is in summer school and that’s because, Ferentz said, he wanted to get a head start on schoolwork. He said he felt good about the academic standing of this class. Ferentz doesn’t demand that freshmen attend summer school. “Once they get here, they have a pretty full schedule,” he said. “To me, their last summer is their last summer.”

Ferentz was asked about the Kinnick picture. He said a few of the freshmen have jobs around campus.

“We have a percentage of guys who are working on campus, which is typical,” Ferentz said. “Dallas Clark is probably our most famous groundskeeper (he worked at Kinnick). I know he was cutting grass. I used to see him driving tractors around. We have an X amount of guys working on campus. You might see them at Hy-Vee and who knows where. People in the community have been really good about employing our guys.”

— Director of football operations Bill Dervrich resigned in late May after 29 years with the UI football program. He was the first strength coach the UI had before he was promoted to the football operations job. He’s been replaced by former trainer Paul Federici. The director of football operations coordinates schedules and takes care of a lot of off-field logistics.

“It’s a personal choice,” Ferentz said. “The only thing I can say is that Bill was here a long time and did a fantastic job. I really appreciate of all of his contributions.”

— More on Ehrmann (I’m so going to read this book): “When you close the book, you just say, ‘What kind of son have I been? Husband? Parent? You just ask meaningful questions that way.’ Not, did we win last Saturday? But what can I do to make life better for all people. That’s Joe’s message. That’s an opportunity we all have, no matter what we do. It really makes you think about a lot of things.”

Hawkeye thought of the day

So, Vandervelde is probably hurt. From what I’ve been told, it doesn’t sound major. Still, even if it’s a game, is Iowa’s OL built to take this?

I want to say yes. There are a number of bodies who could play guard, including seniors Dace Richardson, Andy Kuempel and Dan Doering. Sophomore Adam Gettis might also be ready for prime time. This assumes senior Rafael Eubanks (or freshman James Ferentz) takes on the center spot. Vandervelde got a look there during spring ball. Kirk Ferentz said it wasn’t just a ceremonial deal.

Last season, the OL felt a lot more locked in. This year, outside of tackles Bryan Bulaga and Kyle Calloway, its pretty wide open. Depending on the injury, Vandervelde is a lock. It’s two spots with a lot of bodies in play.

Big Ten thought of the day’s Tom Dienhart writes about post-spring questions in the Big Ten. He writes that Iowa coaches weren’t happy with play at center. It’s a question mark.

National thought of the day

The Husker Locker wonders when Texas became the NY Yankees of the Big 12. The revenue gap is troubling. Texas is at $72.9 million. Iowa State is $38.6 million, nearly half of the Longhorns’. If the Longhorns are the Yankees, ISU is maybe the Twins.



  1. Does the Rivals comment mean they weren’t happy with JV at C? I still think he starts there when all is sadi and done.

  2. In the TX- Yankees comparison, ISU would be the ROYALS. The Twins HAVE done MUCH better than ISU football.

  3. EP –

    I think that it was more an issue of inferring that the coaches weren’t satisfied with the C situation because they moved a 2-year starter at OG to get reps at the C spot. Frankly, I don’t know if you can read quite that much into it. They also wanted to keep the level of competition up and with Ferentz getting suspended halfway through spring camp … they needed somebody else to keep the level of competition up at C.

    Besides, Dace ended up being a big surprise to the coaches at OG … so that kinda created a bit of a logjam for us there. Thus, it also made sense to give Julian a shot at C so that we could have other quality guys vie for the OG spots. Without a doubt, the OG spots are more than admirably covered by Richardson, Doering, Kuempel, Gettis, and Haganman.

    If you don’t consider position and just consider who are the best 5 on the OL … assuming everybody is healthy that list is easily Bulaga, Calloway, Richardson, Vandervelde, and Doering … with Kuempel capable of giving both Julian and Dan a run for their money.

  4. E — I’m with you. I’ve been writing that since January. It just seems to make the most sense. That said, it’s easy for us to assume that JV could just settle in at center. It’s not an easy job. James Ferentz wouldn’t shock me here.

  5. Oh Tony, you’re going to get me in trouble.

    But I don’t disagree. If Ohio State is the Big Ten’s Yankees (hey, this might be a post later), then what are the Hawkeyes? Are they the Twins?

  6. Homer — Terrific analysis. I agree, but I also think there’s room for someone like a Riley Rieff or a James Ferentz to make a run.

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