All eyes will be on quarterback James Vandeberg next fall, but they'll be watching linebacker James Morris pretty closely, too.
May 22, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Random thoughts on the first Sunday of "(High School) Graduation Celebration Month"...
Our niece celebrated her graduation from high school last night. A nice event...that included a drive by the Solon High School, the same Solon High School that our middle linebacker attended. You know, I'm on record of not wishing time away, but I have to tell you and all fans of the Iowa football program, I really, really, really like the way James Morris carries himself on and off the football field and he is one of the many reasons that I'm quietly looking forward to September and another season at Kinnick.
Iowa versus Northwestern in prime time. Yeah. That's a pretty good pick...and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that the home of the Hawkeyes will be rockin'. It's going to be a pretty good football game. Recent history says so.
Mark Hankins wakes up this morning one really, really proud men's golf coach. His UI squad hung tough for three days in suburban Indianapolis and is now heading to the 2011 NCAA Championship later this month in Stillwater, Okla. It's the second trip to the national championship in three years for Hankins and the Hawkeyes - a remarkable statistic and emerging hint of a pattern of impressive consistency given the rather "patchy" history of the program. To read about Saturday's final round, click HERE.
When I get a chance I'm going to ask Mark just one question: What has he been able to do that those who came before him couldn't? You might remember that last year's UI squad fell just one stroke shy of advancing to the 2010 national tournament. Pick up that stroke and this year's finish would have given Iowa a trifecta. Remarkable to say the least.
Yeah, my family made it official Saturday morning when I was ready to wrap up some yard work but was forced by the rain to turn on the television. I then proceeded to start watching "The Bourne Identity," admittedly, again, probably for the 34th time, when they said enough was enough. Sorry. I just like 'em. Well written, well produced, great music, nice acting, keeps comin' at you...just what a thriller is supposed to do, right?
I mentioned Morris so I may as well join the rest of Hawkeye Nation and admit that I'm eager to see James Vandenberg on a regular basis. I mean, c'mon, do you remember the rocket he fired between two Ohio State defender that Marvin McNutt grabbed for seven in that game two years ago now in Columbus? Don't misunderstand me. I'm a big fan of Ricky Stanzi - all he did was win - but, as I've said before, the beauty of college sports is the constant revolving door and, now, it 's James' turn...and I'm like everyone else: Curious to see how he performs when the keys to the Chevy are his on a full-time basis. My gut? He'll do well and, maybe, really, really, really well...like his predecessor.
I think I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy the work of Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Talented guy, Mike is. He's also very, very
good on the radio when he visits with Bob Bruce two times a week in the 5 o'clock hour on WMT-AM Cedar Rapids. Mike wrote earlier this week after Kirk Ferentz confirmed what most had committed to the "foregone conclusion" file: Talented running back Adam Robinson would not return to the UI football team. Mike closed his column - that you can read by clicking HERE -- with this: "Some college-aged males make life harder than it has to be. That's always been true." Bullseye.
Hey, did you notice that Larry Wieczorek - he of Big Ten Conference track and field championship fame - was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Really no surprise there...but, again, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Next up for the Hawkeyes? First round NCAA action this week in beautiful Eugene, Ore. Thirty-three -- 33! -- male and female Hawkeyes will board the plane later this week. Read more HERE.