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Five Notes From Wednesday's Football Availability

On Wednesday morning in the Hansen Football Performance Center, Iowa football hosted the media, making a variety of athletes available. Among them were Cade McNamara, Jermari Harris,, Jay Higgins, Logan Lee, and for the first time as Hawkeyes, Seth Anderson, Nick Jackson and Rusty Feth.

Here are five notes of import regarding topics at hand, new additions to the team, and the health of the players.

Cade McNamara: Man of the People


The media aren't the only people that flock to Iowa's new starting QB (as seen above). By the sounds of it, McNamara's teammates love him.

"It's kind of crazy," McNamara said. "I have so many good friends on this team. The guys were just so welcoming to me. I didn't feel any animosity, I didn't feel like anyone didn't want me to be here. I think just because there was already some mutual respect and the atmosphere that Coach (Kirk) Ferentz has created made it very easy for me to make friends very fast."

He did have to win over one new teammate, though.

"Joe Evans did not like me when he first met me," he added with a laugh. "For some reason like two weeks into me being here, we ended up not doing anything without each other. Joe is like one of the best friends I've ever had in my life and he's my best friend right now."

A budding friendship with fellow Hawkeye star Cooper DeJean was also a point of conversation.

"Some guys are really fun to mess with," McNamara said. "Coop is a goofy kid -- don't get it twisted. Everyone sees the quiet Coop, but when I have an opportunity to mess with him, I'll take it. I love that dude, he's one of my best friends on the team."

Kaleb Brown is Already Impressing

Iowa football has seen a slew of talent come in via the transfer portal, but there was no bigger story than former Ohio State wide receiver Kaleb Brown picking the Hawkeyes in early May. He was among the group of receivers that went to California with McNamara, and he's begun to show why his decision to transfer caused so much buzz in the fanbase.

"I was very impressed," McNamara said. "He looks dang good. We have a long way to go as far as an offense and our connection, but I was definitely impressed. He earned a lot of respect over the course of the week as a new guy. He went about things the right way, and he seems very serious about his game and us winning."

Fellow transfer receiver Anderson has liked what he's seen from Brown, too.

"It's a big addition," Anderson said. "He's a cool dude. He brings a lot of energy. We're going to be something special."

Defensive back Harris chimed in as well, citing the fact that he knew Brown from their high school days.

"I haven't matched up with Kaleb yet," Harris added. "We played on the same 7v7 team, so I saw him when he was a young pup, and we knew he was going to be special then. He is special. It's fun to have him around. That whole offensive side of the ball -- I'm excited for them."

Jay Higgins and Nick Jackson are Gelling

Though Higgins told us he expects to fill the Mike (MLB) linebacker position, Jackson isn't sure where he'll line up defensively. Like the other transfers, Jackson is in a position of learning right now.

"The biggest learning curve has been terminology," he said. "We may have called one thing at Virginia apples and here it's oranges. So getting that down. The whole thing is still new for me, so I'm just learning how to play within the system. There are some similarities and parallels, like cover four is always going to be cover four."

"It's been a collective effort to help me learn," he added. "I think Jay has helped me a whole lot. The rest of the guys in the LB room have been there and done it, so they've poured into me a lot."

Higgins says Jackson is coming along.

"He's a good kid, and we're like-minded," he said. "He fits right in with our group we have now, and it doesn't feel forced. He's a guy that wants to come in and work hard. That's what our room is full of, so it's easy to go out there and compete next to a guy who is willing to work just as hard as you."

They're having fun getting to know one another, too.

"He reminds a lot about who he played in the ACC," Higgins said with a smile. "We played Madden the other day and he loves to call out all the ACC guys, who he has played against. I've just been telling him that the Big Ten is up there with the best conferences -- games are sold out and the environment's a little different in the Big Ten."

Don't Forget About Seth Anderson

Pairing all the excitement about Brown and the fact that Anderson had to miss the spring with a hamstring injury, it seems as though everyone has forgotten about adding the talented sophomore from Charleston Southern. But he's back at 100% and ready to go.

"I felt a lot of adversity," he said. "I wasn't able to participate physically, so I was able to get into the playbook. I was visualizing things getting into action while being on the sideline and watching the plays form. It really helped me in a way."

"I think I can bring explosive plays to the offense this season," Anderson added. "I really feel like a lot of our offense can make plays, me included. So, I feel like we're going to have no problems getting into the endzone this year."

McNamara is Nearing 100%

Anderson isn't the only transfer who had to hold back this spring. After a long stretch of recovery post-surgery, McNamara is finally back and cleared.

"I'm fully good to go and participating in everything," he said. "It feels great. My body feels unbelievable, honestly. I'm just happy to be back out there working out with the fellas and breaking a good sweat."

"I'm very pleased with how the surgery and recovery have gone," McNamara added. "Now, I just need to build on top of it. It's all about how I can get conditioned and catch up to the rest of these guys as fast as possible."

And he says he's gotten better physically over the last year, even despite the injury.

"When we were in California we were able to measure my throwing statistics and compare them to last year," he said. "We did a biometrics scan, so we looked at how fast I'm throwing the football and how many rotations I'm getting. The speed on my throws has gone up by over two miles per hour. So I'm throwing the ball much harder than I ever have. My body fat percentage is down over four percent within the last six months. My body and how it's functioning is really the best it's ever felt in my life."

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