Reiff Penciled in at Left Tackle

April 2, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Friday, April 2)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Last year at this time, University of Iowa lineman Riley Reiff was an inexperienced football player with loads of potential. Now a 6-feet-6, 300-pound sophomore, Reiff is one of the veterans for the Hawkeyes on the offensive front.

If there was a position at Iowa hit hardest by attrition, it was the offensive line. Gone are Bryan Bulaga, Kyle Calloway, Rafael Eubanks, Dan Doering and Dace Richardson. The spring depth chart shows Reiff as the starter at left tackle, senior Julian Vandervelde at left guard, Josh Koeppel or James Ferentz at center, Adam Gettis at right guard and Markus Zusevics at right tackle.

University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz joked during a press conference March 24 that the preliminary depth chart at offensive line was created by throwing darts and flipping coins.

“I thought Riley played as consistently as anybody we had last year, so he did a nice job; for him being a first-year player, he really did a good job,” Ferentz said. “After that, we are pretty-much just flipping coins right now and depth charts don’t mean a lot at this point, but hopefully we’ll be further along here in four weeks, and more importantly, hopefully by September we’ll have a good idea where we are heading.”

The Hawkeyes completed their seventh of 15 spring practices Friday inside “The Bubble.” Afterward, Reiff said that the current Hawkeye offensive linemen “have to fill those places and get ready to go.”

“We need to come in every day and work hard,” Reiff said. “We need to spend extra time in the film room, get together and work out.”

Reiff is a native of Parkson, S.D. Last season when Bulaga missed time with a thyroid condition, Reiff stepped in and the Hawkeyes didn’t miss a beat with wins over Iowa State, Arizona, Penn State and Arkansas State. Iowa averaged 158 yards passing and 132 yards rushing with Bulaga, its All-American left tackle, on the sideline and Reiff keeping his place warm.

“I’ve seen the field now so I kind of know that aspect of it,” Reiff said. “There’s still a lot I have to improve on, so I’m just trying to get better every day.”

Reiff said it helps all the UI offensive linemen to compete every day against one of the top defensive front fours in the nation: Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug, Christian Ballard and Broderick Binns.

“That helps and the coaching we have here is excellent,” Reiff said. “This is just an awesome opportunity.”

The Hawkeyes neared the halfway point of spring drills Friday, and although Reiff said the days aren’t exactly flying by, the practices have gone quickly.

“We have eight more to go and I’m looking forward to them,” Reiff said.

On Saturday, April 17, there will be a final practice open to the public inside Kinnick Stadium, beginning at 1:05 p.m.