May 13, 2014
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
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Anthony Hitchens is comfortable on the move.
He was as a member of the University of Iowa football team, moving from safety to running back before sticking at linebacker.
He stayed on the move this week, going from Iowa City to Lorain, Ohio, back to Iowa City, and then to Dallas, where he begins a career as a professional football player.
"I'm more excited, not really nervous," Hitchens said. "I'm going to keep doing what I have been doing, working hard and showing up every day. I'm ready to get back to work."
Hitchens was drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round with the 119th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft on May 10, joining two other Hawkeyes as draft picks. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz was selected by Houston with the first pick of the third round and linebacker Christian Kirksey was taken six picks later by Cleveland.
Moments after Hitchens was drafted, a video on dallascowboys.com was released, showing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, head coach Jason Garrett, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, and linebackers coach Matt Eberflus speaking to the Hawkeye.
"This is Jerry Jones...welcome to being a Dallas Cowboy. We're excited about it. By the way, we have a special teams coach (Rich Bisaccia) who laid in front of the train for you, so whatever you do, you're going to have to be the best special teams player we got."
"This is Jerry Jones...welcome to being a Dallas Cowboy. We're excited about it," said Jones. "By the way, we have a special teams coach (Rich Bisaccia) who laid in front of the train for you, so whatever you do, you're going to have to be the best special teams player we got."
Jones handed the phone to Garrett.
"You're our kind of guy."
Garrett handed the phone to Marinelli.
"We like you, now. Bring some of that Iowa toughness, all right? Everyone we talked to thinks the world of you."
Marinelli handed to the phone to Eberflus.
"My good buddy is (UI defensive coordinator) Phil Parker. We worked together for 10 years at the University of Toledo. I'm glad to have you because you like to run and you like to hit."
Hitchens has not watched the video that went viral among Hawkeye nation over the weekend. He said family members have viewed it and rated thumbs up.
"They're America's Team, just like the Yankees in baseball," Hitchens said of Dallas, which won Super Bowl titles in 1971, '77, '92, '93, and '95. "Everyone knows the Cowboys."
Last season Dallas finished 8-8, second in the NFC East Division. Hitchens was the third player taken by the Cowboys in 2014, following offensive tackle Zack Martin of Notre Dame and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence of Boise State.
Hitchens watched the draft at home with his mother and brothers.
"It didn't seem real until C.J. and Chris went on Friday," Hitchens said. "That's when I knew this was really happening. When Saturday came, my agent (Jack Bechta) told me to stay patient and I would have a team by the end of the day. Sure enough, the Cowboys called."
Two days after being selected in the NFL Draft, Hitchens was back in Iowa City taking two final exams. He has one more Tuesday. On Wednesday he will pack his belongings and Thursday he arrives in Big D.
Hitchens said his three position changes at the University of Iowa helped him grow quicker than the average college football player.
"I always had confidence in my goals," Hitchens said. "I just tried to get better, stay focused, and kept working at whatever position they put me."
Hitchens is the seventh Hawkeye linebacker to play under head coach Kirk Ferentz to be drafted. The most recent draft marks the third time since 2006 that multiple Iowa linebackers were selected in the same year. Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge were taken in 2006, Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds in 2010, and Kirksey and Hitchens in 2014.
It has been 30 years since the Cowboys drafted someone from the UI: Norm Granger went in the fifth round and Joe Levelis in the sixth in 1984.
|HAWKEYES DRAFTED DURING FERENTZ ERA|
|2014 NFL Draft|
|Round 3||C.J. Fiedorowicz||Houston||Tight end|
|Round 3||Christian Kirksey||Cleveland||Linebacker|
|Round 4||Anthony Hitchens||Dallas||Linebacker|
|2013 NFL Draft|
|Round 5||Micah Hyde||Green Bay||Defensive back|
|2012 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Riley Reiff||Detroit||Offensive line|
|Round 4||Mike Daniels||Green Bay||Defensive line|
|Round 5||Adam Gettis||Washington||Offensive line|
|Round 5||Shaun Prater||Cincinnati||Defensive back|
|Round 6||Marvin McNutt||Philadelphia||Wide receiver|
|Round 7||Jordan Bernstine||Washington||Defensive back|
|2011 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Adrian Clayborn||Tampa Bay||Defensive end|
|Round 4||Christian Ballard||Minnesota||Defensive line|
|Round 5||Ricky Stanzi||Kansas City||Quarterback|
|Round 5||Karl Klug||Tennessee||Defensive line|
|Round 5||Julian Vandervelde||Philadelphia||Offensive line|
|Round 6||Tyler Sash||New York Giants||Defensive back|
|2010 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Bryan Bulaga||Green Bay||Offensive line|
|Round 2||Pat Angerer||Indianapolis||Linebacker|
|Round 3||Amari Spievey||Detroit||Defensive back|
|Round 3||Tony Moeaki||Kansas City||Tight end|
|Round 4||A.J. Edds||Miami||Linebacker|
|Round 7||Kyle Calloway||Buffalo||Offensive line|
|2009 NFL Draft|
|Round 3||Shonn Greene||New York Jets||Running back|
|Round 3||Bradley Fletcher||St. Louis||Defensive back|
|Round 4||Seth Olsen||Denver||Offensive line|
|Round 6||Brandon Myers||Oakland||Tight end|
|2008 NFL Draft|
|Round 3||Charles Godfrey||Carolina||Defensive back|
|Round 4||Kenny Iwebema||Arizona||Defensive end|
|Round 6||Mike Humpal||Pittsburgh||Linebacker|
|2007 NFL Draft|
|Round 3||Marshal Yanda||Baltimore||Offensive line|
|Round 4||Scott Chandler||San Diego||Tight end|
|Round 7||Mike Elgin||New England||Offensive line|
|2006 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Chad Greenway||Minnesota||Linebacker|
|Round 3||Abdul Hodge||Green Bay||Linebacker|
|2005 NFL Draft|
|Round 2||Matt Roth||Miami||Defensive end|
|Round 2||Jonathan Babineaux||Atlanta||Defensive line|
|Round 4||Sean Considine||Philadelphia||Defensive back|
|Round 6||Tony Jackson||Seattle||Tight end|
|Round 6||Pete McMahon||Oakland||Offensive line|
|2004 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Robert Gallery||Oakland||Offensive line|
|Round 2||Bob Sanders||Indianapolis||Defensive back|
|Round 3||Nate Kaeding||San Diego||Place kicker|
|Round 7||Jared Clauss||Tennessee||Defensive line|
|Round 7||Erik Jensen||St. Louis||Tight end|
|2003 NFL Draft|
|Round 1||Dallas Clark||Indianapolis||Tight end|
|Round 2||Eric Steinbach||Cincinnati||Offensive line|
|Round 2||Bruce Nelson||Carolina||Center|
|Round 5||Derek Pagel||New York Jets||Defensive back|
|Round 5||Ben Sobieski||Buffalo||Offensive line|
|2002 NFL Draft|
|Round 2||Ladell Betts||Washington||Running back|
|Round 5||Aaron Kampman||Green Bay||Defensive line|
|Round 6||Kahlil Hill||Atlanta||Wide receiver|
|2001 NFL Draft|
|Round 6||Kevin Kasper||Denver||Wide receiver|
|2000 NFL Draft|
|Round 5||Austin Wheatley||New Orleans||Tight end|
|Round 6||Matt Bowen||St. Louis||Defensive back|