1) Nate Kaeding (2000-03)
This one was easy.
Kirk Ferentz and the University of Iowa agreed on a contract extension in February. The goal was to have it signed before the 2009 season started.
With Iowa’s fall camp beginning Aug. 5, the deal was signed last week and the UI announced it Monday.
Here’s the UI release:
FERENTZ, UI SIGN CONTRACT
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kirk Ferentz will enter his 20th year as a member of the staff at the University of Iowa with a signed contract as the head coach of the UI football team through the 2015 season. The UI announced in April it had come to agreement with Ferentz on the terms of a new seven-year agreement. That contract was signed last week.
1) Jovon Johnson (2002-05)
Johnson finished his career one off Iowa’s interception record. He’s got 17. Devon Mitchell and this guy Nile Kinnick are tied at the top with 18.
Johnson was a gamer. Iowa beat Kent State in recruiting and it was on up from there. He played as a true frosh, played a year with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now a starting corner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.
1) Bob Sanders (2000-03)
Sanders is arguably the most important player in the Ferentz era. When he arrived and did his thing, Kirk Ferentz had someone he could point to and say, “Do that. Be like Bob.” Of course, Ferentz knew what he was getting. Iowa beat out Ohio University on the recommendation of Joe Moore, Ferentz’s mentor.
Moore, who passed away in 2003, sure knew what he was talking about.
OK, I’m whimping out. This has to be a tie, doesn’t it? You can’t have an Abdul Hodge without a Chad Greenway and vice versa. Coaches put so much trust into Hodge, a Norm Parker fave and maybe an all-time fave. Plus, I saw Hodge in the weightroom. The guy worked like a freight train. Greenway was sooo athletic. Hodge was more physical, but Greenway got to a lot of places that most linebackers never make it to.
So, a tie. Sue me.
1) Matt Roth (2001-04)
One of the most singular personalities in the Ferentz era, I was lucky enough to be invited for a home visit to the Roths in OakBrook. They were hilarious. Unfortunately, these might have still been the days when The Gazette was still charging for internet access. If this scheduling thingie works, that story should be under this one.
Here’ the sidebar from that story:
Matt Roth visit story:
OAK BROOK, Ill. – The craziest thing was the chairlift fight on a Colorado mountain.
Dangling 50 feet above the runs and lodges of a Breckenridge ski resort, Matt and T.J. Roth decided to settle the argument the only way teenage brothers know how.
Right then and there.
Sitting inches apart with nowhere to go but down, who’s the best skier in the family?
This offseason, former Hawkeyes defensive tackle Colin Cole signed a five-year, $21 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The guarantee is $5 million. He has been Iowa’s biggest DT during the Kirk Ferentz era and he’s certainly one of the richest.
When Cole arrived from Florida as a freshman, he was quiet and kind of shy. When he left as a senior, he was a strong leader who didn’t say a lot, but I’m guessing when he did speak, teammates listened.
Robert Gallery will soon earn the second contract of his NFL career. He’s healthy and happy and has found a home in the league as a guard. Yes, he was drafted No. 2 in the 2004 draft to play left tackled for 12 seasons, but that didn’t work. Now, he’s thriving at guard with some Pro Bowl mention last season.