Posted by: marcmwm | June 26, 2009

Just a few Iowa football tidbits

From the Joe Ehrmann event in IC last night:

I met James Morris, the Solon linebacker who committed to the Hawkeyes in 2007. He’s all of 6-2 and 200 whatever. If he’s running the ball for Solon next year, the Spartans have got to be the favorite to become three-time Class 2A champs. He’s gotten to know Jim Poggi, a fellow Hawkeye linebacker recruit from Gilman School. Poggi is an accomplished guitar player and has a band. Morris is in Solon’s choir and claims to have a singing voice. He wants to start a band with Poggi.

What would you name them?

It was great to meet James. I have to sneak out of the house on a Friday night this fall for a Solon game.

Recruiting has slowed and camps are finished, so Iowa coaches begin their summer vacations this week.

Freshmen report to Iowa City for fall camp on Aug. 5. Iowa media day has been scheduled for Aug. 7.

On a personal note, I truly appreciated the invite to the event. I have some head and heart homework to do in my life. And I’m sure I’ll coach again. This is excellent info. The book is “Season of Life.” If you coach or teach or have kids, it’s another school of thought that deserves examination.

Look for an interview with Iowa’s newest commitment, Austin Vier, later today or tonight.

BONUS EDIT: I was told the numbers of scholarships Iowa will give this year is 18, at least that’s right now.



  1. I’m fairly certain that James Morris has a brother who’s the guitarist and lead singer of a band called Zack Attack.

  2. We can all be better and no one is perfect.

    As long as you do right by your family, and get your handicap under 10, you’re OK.

  3. A signing voice? Does that mean he should write his thoughts instead? (I know it’s a typo, but I thought about it for a second.)

    I was going to go to that event, but my buddy backed out and family decided to visit from out of state. With all of this week’s news, I think it is important to think about what is really important and why we are doing what we do.

  4. E — HA! I think I was at 14.something last week. Should be lower now, if the 73 at Airport counts (which it shouldn’t).

    Marc — Whoops! Thanks!

    I agree, too. Good life stuff that makes sense.

  5. If you can play that airport course and come out alive you can count it. That place is a goat ranch, and deadly to boot.

  6. It’s a very well-kept course, but it is very, very short. We caught it on a slow, hot Monday so we had a blast.

    I did wear a hockey helmet, however.

  7. I would be interested in understanding if there is any overlap between Ehrmann’s philosophy and the guy up at St. John’s/MN, who didn’t believe in raising his voice or in hitting in practice — but won more games than Eddie Robinson.

    The problem, of course, is that everyone is a genius when his players are better. Gilman is so prestigious, so rarefied, that anyone offered a position takes it. Baltimore is the only town I have ever been, where the ceo of a major bank like Legg Mason references his prep school (Gilman) before his college (Harvard). You go to a party there and they all want to know if you went to Gilman. I suspect that Gilman is skimming the best of the college bound football players in the Baltimore area.

  8. This is not to undermine the moral insights Ehrmann offers. They are stark and useful. But it might be harder to win with that philosophy at a Baltimore public school playing on dirt and surrounded by projects, than it is at Gilman. I used to run in the mornings on an inner city track rimming a football field in the Baltimore inner city. Every morning there was broken glass sparkling in the football field. They play football on dirt and broken glass, in the Baltimore public schools (as opposed to Gilman).

  9. Bellanca — My only “exposure” to Baltimore is from “The Wire.” If it’s anything like that show (I’m sure there was plenty of dramatic license, but David Simon was a Balt. Sun crime reporter), I can’t imagine.

    Ehrmann mentioned during his talk that he and his wife spent time (can’t remember exactly how much. six years maybe?) running a charity in inner-city Baltimore. I think it was raising quick funds for a neighborhood, but I can’t remember.

    The Harvard-Gilman reference is interesting. I kind of thought maybe, but that brings it home for me.

    I’m not sure how much the Gilman thing factors for Ehrmann. It sounds as though that’s where and how he gets his “football.” There also might be a scholarship factor at work with the school. I don’t know that, however.

    Bottomline, you’re right. Gold is an easy metal to shape into beauty.

  10. Baltimore is a lot like The Wire. A scary place in general, one block will be houses close to CR Wash and, literally, the next block is like McKinley St.

    A good friend of mine lived there and I visited a few times, overall not a great place.

  11. heh, just as you say recruiting as slowed, Iowa gets another committment. Mark Hardy, for Wisconsin. He had quite a few other offers from midwestern schools. The recruiting services have him as a DE, but at 260, I’m think DT in Iowa’s system.

  12. Marc, The Wire is a rare show in that it not only does reflect Baltimore but actually pulled people off the streets to play some shadowy aspects of themselves.

    The white people who run the banks and mutual funds all drive in 20 miles from the northern suburbs, and two blocks from the Peabody (a music conservatory) or the Sun’s newsroom, one is sharing the sidewalk with people who haven’t spent a day in a two-parent household in two or three generations.

    Ehrmann’s Gilman costs $30-$40K per year per student (and this is after-tax money, so it’s really $55-60K of gross income to the parent), so to an innercity kid who is offered a scholarship and the support of an Ehrmann, it is beyond transformative.

    The kindest people I knew in Baltimore, just in regard to a morning smile and a how-are-you-today word, were the other residents I would meet at dawn on that track, walking or running through the broken glass and debris of the prior evening. There are few Ehrmanns and Ed Thomases in the innner city, and no amount of “Social Services” spending can make up for that fact.

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