June 11, 2015
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
Both Smith (third-team wide receiver) and Lomax (fourth-team defensive back) received praise from Steele via his college football preview magazine that hits newsstands June 24. Word hasn’t gotten back to those Hawkeyes.
“What is it?” Smith asked.
“That’s news to me,” said Lomax.
Four other members of the UI football team are also recognized: senior center Austin Blythe and senior defensive end Drew Ott on second team, junior cornerback Desmond King on third team, and senior tight end Jake Duzey on fourth team.
Not only was Smith unaware of the preseason news, when informed of the selection, he viewed it more of a snub than an accolade.
“I don’t look into that stuff, but I’m not satisfied with third team anyway,” Smith said Wednesday inside the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center. “I’m trying to work hard and get first-team All-Big Ten and do whatever I can to get noticed, not only in the conference, but in the country.”
Lomax says individual recognition interferes with team goals.
“When you focus on individual accomplishments you get distracted from what the team is trying to accomplish. All I can do is go out there and give it my best and everything else should take care of itself. As long as we win games, that should take care of everything.”
UI free safety
“When you focus on individual accomplishments you get distracted from what the team is trying to accomplish,” Lomax said. “All I can do is go out there and give it my best and everything else should take care of itself. As long as we win games, that should take care of everything.”
The Hawkeyes have compiled almost eight wins a season since 2008. Iowa was 7-6 a year ago and played in its 12th bowl game since Kirk Ferentz took over as head coach in 1999, but the Hawkeyes strive for more.
And Smith and Lomax have been called on to lead.
Both are among 16 members of the team’s Leadership Group announced in May. Both are becoming more vocal and what they say is validated by past performances on the field. Smith caught 43 passes for a team-high 596 yards and three touchdowns last season; Lomax was third among Hawkeyes with 92 tackles and a team-high six pass breakups.
“Being more vocal is a big thing for me,” Smith said. “I have tried to lead with my actions, but there are times when you need to be vocal as well. That is one role I have to take pride in this offseason.”
Since Smith doesn’t pay attention to what’s on preseason websites or newsstands, he is probably unaware that he was also named one of the most explosive playmakers in the league by bleacherreport.com and is being referred to as the Hawkeyes’ big-play option.
Meanwhile, Lomax is occupied with taking the strides gained during spring ball and multiplying that during summer workouts.
“This is grind time when we compete with each other and we work our hardest when we’re training,” Lomax said. “I feel good about the chemistry.”
Iowa opens the season Sept. 5 against Illinois State inside Kinnick Stadium. Last season the Redbirds won 13 games and advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs.