Bernstine Taking Nothing for Granted

April 7, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Wednesday, April 7) | Video interview with J. Bernstine

Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the April 1 edition of the Official Sports Report (OSR) for the University of Iowa. OSR is a daily e-newsletter exclusively about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Click HERE to learn more.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — While former Des Moines Lincoln standout Adam Robinson was carrying part the offensive load for the University of Iowa football team last fall, his high school teammate was supportive, but wounded.

Now healed and rehabilitated from an August, 2009, foot injury, Hawkeye redshirt junior cornerback Jordan Bernstine is back in the mix for a defensive backfield that returns plenty of experience at cornerback.

“We have a lot of guys and we have experience,” said Bernstine, who was named Parade All-American in high school. “We have Greg (Castillo), Willie (Lowe), Micah (Hyde), (Shaun) Prater. We have a lot of guys who have already played downs, so it will be a fun competition all spring and in camp.”

Iowa finished fourth in the NCAA last season in fewest passing yards per game, allowing 152.92.

Amari Spievey led the UI cornerbacks in tackles in 2009 with 56. He also had eight pass breakups and two interceptions, but his fall will be spent in NFL, not Big Ten Conference, stadiums. As a sophomore, Prater amassed 41 tackles with eight breakups and two interceptions. Lowe, a sophomore, was in on 13 stops, followed by Hyde (eight) and Castillo (four). Castillo was a redshirt freshman.

The Hawkeyes won their first nine games of the 2009 season and finished 11-2 overall with a victory against Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl. Hyde was one of three true freshmen to see action for the UI, joining wide receiver Keenan Davis and running back Brandon Wegher.

“He’s been making strides every day, every practice,” Bernstine said of Hyde. “Micah’s been getting in, watching film with all the guys and practicing well.”

Like Hyde, Bernstine was thrust into immediate duty as one of 11 true freshmen to play in 2007.

Bernstine said he was excited while the team was enjoying success a year ago, but at the same time it has hard for him because he wanted to be on the field. In 12 games as a sophomore, Bernstine made 12 tackles and picked off a pass. His first career pass interception came at Michigan State and that turnover led to an Iowa touchdown.

The foot injury healed in time for Bernstine to participate in practices leading up to the FedEx Orange Bowl, but now when he puts on the pads, he knows that he is one step closer to returning to an actual game. The Hawkeyes kick off the season at home Saturday, Sept. 4, against Eastern Illinois.

“It feels good to be back out practicing,” Bernstine said. “I missed the whole season when the team was out there doing well. That hurt. It feels so good just being able to go out and practice; you can never take anything for granted.”

The Hawkeyes will participate in their first practice of the week (and ninth overall) this afternoon. The public will get a glimpse of the team Saturday, April 17, at an open practice that begins at 1:05 p.m. inside Kinnick Stadium.