Getting Deeper as the Season Gets Deeper

Nov. 10, 2010

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in Hawk Talk Daily, the UI Athletics Department’s daily e-newsletter delivery free of charge each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To learn more about HTD, click HERE.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The month of November in the world of college football is the time when champions separate themselves from the pack. It’s also a month when, typically, the depth of the team roster grows thin as the wear and tear of the season begins to take its toll.

November is going as planned, thus far, for the Iowa Hawkeyes in terms of “separation.” Iowa soundly defeated a previously unbeaten Michigan State team to close out the month October then rallied on the road to defeat Indiana last week. The Hawkeyes are now days into prep for yet another contest away from Kinnick.

On the other hand, the nation’s No. 13 team is going the exact opposite direction in terms of roster. Kirk Ferentz’s squad is actually getting deeper as the season grinds deeper into its fourth month.

Iowa’s head coach said Tuesday to the media assembled for their weekly visit that running back Adam Robinson – Iowa’s offensive MVP as far as UI quarterback Ricky Stanzi is concerned – is practicing with the team and will be on the field when the Hawkeyes square off against Northwestern at 11 a.m. Iowa time Saturday in Evanston, Ill.

“He’s fine. He’s ready to go,” Iowa’s head coach said flatly and just days after freshman Marcus Coker – he of 129 yards gained in his first collegiate start – and his teammates let the nation know that the Hawkeyes did, indeed, have a more than capable back-up for A-Rob.

Ferentz also noted that linebacker Jeff Tarpinian looked to be 100 percent after struggling with a “stinger” for several weeks.

“Sunday was his first day in the office and it was great seeing him, great to hear his voice.”
Kirk Ferentz on the return of defensive coordinator Norm Parker to his desk inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex

“We get Jeff back at full speed,” he said. “Maybe we’ll just slide him in where Tyler (Nielson) was. Tyler was really playing well, so that was a big loss for us a week ago. Maybe there’s a little bit of a blessing there (with Jeff’s return). Maybe it’s working out OK.”

Then, of course, the big news for the staff and the team: Norm Parker, Iowa’s beloved and talented defensive coordinator, returned to the office this week and may make the trip to Chicago with the team.

“Sunday was his first day in the office and it was great seeing him, great to hear his voice,” Ferentz beamed. “I don’t know if he’ll make the trip or not. There’s a chance of that.

“Like anybody in that situation, he’s got a lot of ground to cover right now from endurance and strength, that type of thing. But, it’s a huge step for him. I know he feels good about being home.”