Aug. 9, 2009
- 2009 Fall Preseason Camp Central
- 2009 Football Media Fact Book
- 2009 Football Media Guide
- 2008 Highlight Video
- New and renewal season ticket customers: Purchase yours online!
- Outback Bowl Central
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Iowa Football wallpaper
by Sean Neugent
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Being a senior carries an extra weight of expectations that comes with age, but University of Iowa wide receiver Trey Stross and tight end Tony Moeaki are looking forward to the opportunity in their final collegiate season for the Hawkeyes.
Stross, along with Moeaki, will team up to anchor the offense as the only senior skill-position players.
“We expect every senior to have their best year of performance,” said Erik Campbell, UI wide receivers and tight ends coach. “Hopefully he (Stross) will have a great year and be a leader — that is what we need from him.”
“I see Trey and Tony both playing at a high level,” UI tight end Allen Reisner said. “They are two of our oldest guys and I think they will play at a high level every game. I expect the offense to be healthy and I think we just want to play well.”
Both Hawkeyes have been plagued by injuries the past few seasons. Stross missed a combined 13 games since the 2006 season while Moeaki has missed 12 games in the past two years. The Hawkeyes know it is crucial to their success to keep the two healthy.
“I really hope that Tony has a healthy year because he will be a big part of our offense,” Stross said. “I’m saving it all up for this year. I got all the injuries out of the way and I’m ready to finish off strong here.”
“Trey has always been out there and ready and injuries have held him back a couple times,” UI backup quarterback John Wienke said. “As far as I am concerned, he is ready to go. He is going to be a good leader and he is always there for the guys.”
“We expect every senior to have their best year of performance. Hopefully he (Stross) will have a great year and be a leader — that is what we need from him.”
UI receivers coach
Then career numbers for Stross are solid from the time he has seen the field, catching 42 passes for 570 yards and six touchdowns.
Fifteen receivers sit on the Iowa roster and Stross and junior Derrell Johnson-Koulianos come in as the only seasoned veterans at that position. Players like Paul Chaney, Jr., and Colin Sandeman have not received extensive game action, but they look to contribute even more this season. There are six junior wide receivers, two sophomores, and six freshmen on the roster.
“We are just trying to lead by example,” Moeaki said. “We are just trying to set a good example and hopefully this season we will play really well.”
“I expect them to work hard just like the rest of the team and be mentally and physically tough at the same time,” UI starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi said. “That’s what we expect out of the rest of the team and if we have those things we should be set.”
Iowa lost two key players to the NFL in the offseason in running back Shonn Greene and wide out Andy Brodell. Brodell went through a similar situation as Stross last year as the only senior wide out, and helped the Hawkeyes to a 9-4 record, including a convincing win over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. Iowa had an even younger receiving core last season.
“The difference between this year and last year is we have some experience coming back. We have a lot more older guys with Derrell (Johnson-Koulianos), Sandeman, and Chaney. All four of us bring a lot more experience than previous years. I expect us to have more consistent play and better knowledge of the system.”
UI senior receiver
“The difference between this year and last year is we have some experience coming back,” Stross said. “We have a lot more older guys with Derrell (Johnson-Koulianos), Sandeman, and Chaney. All four of us bring a lot more experience than previous years. I expect us to have more consistent play and better knowledge of the system.”
Iowa is a prototypical running school and showed its colors last year when Greene rushed for 1,850 yards in 307 attempts and 20 touchdowns. The New York Jets snatched him in the third round of the NFL Draft. Losing Greene would be a huge void in the Hawkeyes offense this season if it was not for then-freshman Jewel Hampton getting several reps in behind Greene, rushing for 463 yards and seven touchdowns.
“Jewel played really well as a true freshman,” Moeaki said. “At the same time, Shonn was a freak last year, almost like a superhero. It will be tough to replace Shonn, but it will be exciting because all of the guys on offense have to raise our level of play to make up for his absence.”
The Hawkeyes look to use Hampton and the running game this year to open up the passing lanes for Stanzi. The tight ends are hoping to be as effective as they were last season with Moeaki and junior Allen Reisner.
Last season the Hawkeye camp was surrounded by quarterback competition between Stanzi and Jake Christensen before Stanzi earned the job throwing for nearly 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. Stanzi comes in as the starting quarterback this season.
“All of the quarterbacks are still competing, but it is nice to kind of have a good foundation of getting the timing down right away,” Stross said.
“We didn’t really worry about that during the season at all. We knew we were going to have a quarterback on the field and that is just how we played and looked at it,” Reisner said.
Iowa may enter the season young on the offensive side of the ball, but a healthy Stross and Moeaki would be a powerful combination in mixing the veterans with the youth for the Hawkeyes in 2009.
Iowa will take on Northern Iowa inside Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. in the season-opener for both schools.