Nov. 10, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Mike Ferroni has dealt with adversity on a football field, and he knows what it takes to snap out of it. He shared that message Friday with a University of Iowa football team looking to end a three-game losing skid.
Ferroni is honorary captain for a Hawkeye team that hosts Purdue on Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes are 4-5 overall, 2-3 in the Big Ten Conference; Purdue is 3-6, 0-5.
“It doesn’t matter what adversity you face, you face it together as a team,” Ferroni said following Iowa’s walk-through inside the indoor practice facility. “You have to stay together as a team. The reason you play this game is for each other. The only way you can overcome adversity is by trusting the guys you play with.”
Ferroni was a four-year letterwinner as an offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes from 1989-92. During his sophomore season, the Hawkeyes played Washington in the Rose Bowl. As a junior, Iowa won 10 regular-season games before tying Brigham Young in the Holiday Bowl.
The Hawkeyes were national ranked when Ferroni was a senior, only to start the season 1-4 and finish 5-7 and miss a bowl game.
A native of New Jersey, Ferroni followed former high school teammate Tony Stewart to the UI. He was recruited by current Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz and Bernie Wyatt.
“Coach Ferentz was one of the best offensive line coaches in the country, and the reputation Iowa had for building offensive linemen, not to mention the success coach (Hayden) Fry experienced here,” Ferroni said of his decision to earn a bachelor’s degree in Iowa City. “Coach Ferentz was the exact thing I needed in my life when I came out here.”
Ferroni still marvels at how Ferentz fosters the Hawkeye Family.
“I haven’t been back in 13 years, but standing here in this place and being with these people, it feels like yesterday I was playing,” Ferroni said. “I know a lot of people that played at other colleges and no one had an experience like I have had. That speaks a lot for this program — what coach Fry was able to start and also what coach Ferentz has been able to continue.”
To watch an interview with Ferroni conducted Friday following the Hawkeyes’ walk-through, click HERE.