No Drama Makes For A Perfect Offseason For Ferentz
Kirk Ferentz held his February signing day press conference on Wednesday and he talked about the things everyone already knew about.
There really wasn't much new. Oh, the Hawkeyes have a new offensive tackle in Coy Cronk — which is the perfect offensive tackle name — an experienced graduate transfer Iowa needed, so there's that.
Ferentz talked about some of the players who signed in December — he didn't get to do that then because he had to go to San Diego for a Holiday Bowl press conference.
There really wasn't much to talk about in terms of spring practice — no schedule has been set, although Ferentz said it will be a lot like last year's, which means an end in late April.
It's been a winter of contentment for Ferentz, which is the way he likes it.
Sure, there were some defections to the NFL draft, but it was likely Tristan Wirfs, A.J. Epenesa and Geno Stone were going anyway, so there wasn't much of a shock. Quarterback Peyton Mansell transferred, but you figured someone from that position group was going to be gone — such is life in college football quarterback rooms everywhere.
No staff changes, apparently — while jobs shift all around the sport, Ferentz's staff seems entrenched and comfortable.
And the Hawkeyes' recruiting class was solid. If that sounds underwhelming, it's not.
The best parts about it, from Ferentz's angle, was a.) it was done early and b.) no one flipped.
When the last recruit commits in August, and you're already moving on to the 2021 group, it makes for a calm fall and winter. While all of the big names among the Power 5s were flipping, and seeing their own recruits flipped, back in December, the Hawkeyes' class just signed the letters of intent without any big changes — 20 signed in December, two more on Wednesday.
"As you guys know, we want uneventful signing days," Iowa director of recruiting Tyler Barnes said. "That’s our goal. We’re not a big put-a-hat-on-a-table, pick-from-there type of school. It’s certainly not as drama-filled as it once was."
The earlier signing date has certainly put some speed into the recruiting process, Barnes said. That puts pressure on the diligence of the Hawkeyes' staff.
"You never want to get to the end and shop hungry," he said. "Taking guys you don’t know a whole lot about is scary. At the same time, we’ve had some pretty good football players we’ve taken late.
"It just makes the falls a little bit different."
Ferentz talked about the process on Wednesday. It means finding out every bit of information on recruits, talking to anyone and everyone. Little nuggets can be mined into gold.
"We’re not a cookie-cutter outfit," Ferentz said. "We don’t have the luxury of taking the guys who are obviously good players. So sometimes we have to look a little bit beyond."
It doesn't mean the Hawkeyes aren't afraid to catch the new wave of roster building. Iowa found Cronk in the NCAA's transfer portal. They found another Australian punter — Tory Taylor, who was one of the two players who signed on Wednesday.
But those are just tweaks to the process. No need to overhaul.
"We’re not reinventing our culture," Barnes said. "We know what that is. And that’s the most important thing, it really is."
The 2021 class already has seven commitments. A long way to go, but Ferentz and his staff don't mind if it takes a short time to get there.
No need for drama.