Ferentz: Season, Depth Chart an 'Open Book'

March 21, 2007

IOWA CITY — It took just seconds for the question about the quarterback position for the 2007 Iowa Hawkeyes to be asked by the media assembled for University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz’s first media event of the spring.

Gone is fiery leader Drew Tate, a three-year starter who earned all-Big Ten honors while guiding the Hawkeyes to three bowl games including the 2005 Capital One Bowl – a victory over Louisiana State – and the 2006 Outback Bowl.

“We’ll be young, that’s for sure,” smiled Ferentz, noting quickly that it only makes sense to put sophomore Jake Christensen at the top of the pre-season depth chart.

“Jake has two years in the program and is the only one among the four with game experience. He’s had a great opportunity to learn behind Drew…lots of very good, valuable, work as the No. 2 guy.

“I tell the guys that in the spring our season is an open book and our depth chart is the same way. As a coaching staff we have no preconceived notions.”
Kirk Ferentz

“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens,” Ferentz added. “It’s a very important time for learning for the other three. But, it’s not `(Jake’s) job to lose.’ We’re coming off a year where we weren’t as productive as we would have liked and we all have lots to improve upon, myself included.”

Ferentz said he’s been very impressed with the skills, work ethic and enthusiasm of Christensen’s biggest challengers, Arvell Nelson and Richard Stanzi, and Adam Farnsworth.

“They’ve excelled on our scout team. It’s obvious they like the game of football. In fact, I’d say the same about the entire freshman class. It appears the group collectively enjoys playing the game.”

Ferentz said, as always, the goals of the spring session are to go back to the fundamentals and get them right, to install the Hawkeyes’ offensive and defensive systems, and to continue the evaluation process.

“I tell the guys that in the spring our season is an open book and our depth chart is the same way. As a coaching staff we have no preconceived notions,” said Ferentz.

Iowa has two of its 15 practice sessions under its belt. Ferentz is optimistic that the focus and determination that he saw in December in preparation for the 2006 Alamo Bowl and through winter workouts continues.

“We found the proper focus and work ethic in December and, according to Chris (Doyle), that same commitment was evident during our winter workouts. I’m optimistic that we’ll see that same positive attitude, focus and work ethic through the spring and summer,” said Ferentz.

When asked about his offensive line, Ferentz said the initial reaction may be the wrong reaction. “We appear to be young and inexperienced, but, while we have no seniors, we do have three guys with extensive experience, so maybe we’re not as young and inexperienced as one might think,” he said, adding that he sees 12, 13 different guys with legitimate opportunities for playing time.

Iowa stages the 2007 Iowa Football Coca-Cola Classic Spring Practice on Saturday, April 14. The practice will begin at 1 p.m. and last approximately two hours. Information about which gates to historic Kinnick Stadium will be open that day and when will be announced in early April.

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