football Edit

Ferentz meets the press after Kids Day

There wasn't a lot of new ground to cover with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz after Kids Day. Ferentz had just spoke one day ago at media day, but there were some reactions to get from the Hawkeyes first practice at Kinnick Stadium this fall. Ferentz discusses what he saw on Saturday afternoon, the rise of Dane Belton as a true freshman, the play of his quarterbacks and running backs, and he updates a few minor injuries for his team.


First of all it was just good to get out here. I appreciate the fans coming out here. Certainly a good opportunity for them to get a peek at the team. More importantly it’s good for our guys to be in Kinnick and to have some people in here. It doesn’t seem like much, but especially for the younger guys, it’s a big deal to have anybody watching outside of the normal people. I saw some good things out there today, but we are only eight practices into it and we certainly have a lot of room for improvement, like after every first scrimmage. We will have some good teaching tape to work off of tomorrow. First and foremost, learning the tempo of playing in a live situation and then being able to sustain that for 3.5 hours. We are kind of walking along now, but the guys have had a good attitude and we are eight days along now and we will go back at it on Monday.

Q: Logan Lee started out being a tight end and now he’s at defensive tackle. What do you like about him?

FERENTZ: First off all, he’s a really consensuses young guy and a good athlete. He was a good football player in high school. He has just done a really good job. He takes to coaching very well and an intent listener. You see that showing up with his play. He’s done a lot of nice things in practice. He is scratching the surface, but he’s off to a good start.

Q: Do you have any other true freshmen who might play or is that just too early?

FERENTZ: It’s too early. I think next time we visit we will have a much better idea. I would probably say there’s a couple on each side of the ball. Part of it is what they are doing and part of it is our depth. Those two things. A couple of guys have gotten off to a pretty good start.

Q: Are you getting any clarity at punter? FERENTZ: Yeah, it was interesting. Michael started off poorly today and he had been doing very well. Maybe it was good for him to be in here today. He has been in here, but without a crowd. We will just let that thing go and see where it goes.

Q: How are you going to pick a kicker after today? They were both perfect.

FERENTZ: Boy, I don’t know. I don’t want to over talk that one. That might have been the most impressive thing today. I don’t think they missed one, no matter what we did or where we did it from. That is indicative of the way they have been practicing so far. They had their ups and downs during the spring, but they have been really focused and it will be interesting to see how it goes. Maybe both of them will help us.

Q: The running backs were pretty strong today, especially Toren Young

FERENTZ: He runs strong and he doesn’t mess around. That helps move the ball forward and as elementary as it sounds that’s good. All three of them have been practicing well. The backs have been blocking well and picking up blitzes and pressures. We create those situations and all three have blocked well and Toren really hit it pretty well today, which was good to see.

Q: More on the running backs

FERENTZ: I think they are all practicing well and they are all different. Chances are we will need all three.

Q: Ragaini seems like he can line up anywhere for you.

FERENTZ: Yeah, I think the redshirt year did him well last year. He got more comfortable and he’s playing faster now than he did a year ago. He played well this spring too and it’s encouraging to see him keep moving along. Tyrone Tracy is right there with him and he has done a good job as well.

Q: Petras got in there before Mansell today. Does that mean anything?

FERENTZ: No. That’s just probably his turn in the rotation. We worked those guys a lot today and we will let those two continue to compete with each other.

Q: Did he stand out to you today?

FERENTZ: I would want to see the tape first. It’s been interesting with the back and forth a little bit. This week will probably be important for both guys, quite frankly.

Q: In a lot of the scrimmages this time of year the defense tends to dominate. This year it seems more even.

FERENTZ: Yeah, a lot of good things today, moreso in the passing game. Running the ball is probably the hardest thing to do against our defense in practice. I think that’s been 21 years of that. We hit a couple of good runs in there, which was good to see. I think we saw a lot of good effort, but we will probably see a lot of things on film that we could do better. That is the challenge between now and next Saturday. We have to close the gap on some of that stuff and hopefully take another step next week.

Q: Is it a minor injury with Barrington Wade?

FERENTZ: Yeah, he should be back. I don’t know if it was minor, but he’s missed a few weeks. He should be back, hopefully sometime in the next week. Monte Pottebaum is the same thing. Both are on about the same time line.

Q: Nothing else major healthwise?

FERENTZ: I mentioned Ryan Gersonde yesterday. Unfortuanately he’s not going to get back this year. Max Cooper hasn’t been out there. He’s still working his way back and we will be getting him back pretty soon too.

Q: Was Jack Koerner out today too?

FERENTZ: Yeah, he had a muscle injury yesterday. I am hoping a week, but we will see. He’s done a good job.

Q: You were putting Dane Belton out there a lot. Sometimes with the first team.

FERENTZ: I don’t foresee him with the one’s necessarily, but he has been getting some reps with the second group. We are thin at that spot and I mentioned a minute ago about the younger guys. In his case, I think it’s a combination of both. He’s doing some good things and we are thin back there. With Jack out, that is going to give him a nice opportunity.

Q: Has Epenesa reached the Bob Sanders stage in practice yet?

FERENTZ: Not quite that way. He’s done some nice things. He made a nice effort on that interception he almost got. He rushes the passer really well, but there’s a lot he can still work on.

Q: Justin Britt is about ten months removed from an ACL repair. How has he done so far?

FERENTZ: He has done a nice job. I may have mentioned it during signing day, I had a conversation back in December and his football knowledge was pretty impressive. He has done a good job on the field. He’s still figuring some things out, like everyone, but he has done a good job. He’s a hard minded and physical player.