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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Angerer’

Linebacker battle is intriguing

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Most of the talk regarding the Iowa football team this spring is going to be about rebuilding the offensive line. With only two starters back, there are a lot of unknowns there.

But there similar mysteries – if not similar concerns — regarding the three linebacker positions. The Hawkeyes essentially have five guys contending for three spots.

All five candidates are juniors or seniors. All weigh between 232 and 238 pounds. All have played quite a bit, at least on special teams. All have their best football in front of them.

Jeremiha Hunter is the one guy with really extensive playing experience. He has been the starting weakside linebacker for the past two seasons and although he usually was overshadowed by the departed Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, he’s been a very solid player. You might remember him as the guy who blocked the second field goal attempt against Northern Iowa to preserve a 17-16 victory in last year’s season opener.

Hunter has been backed up for two years by Jeff Tarpinian, a highly regarded player who has been patiently waiting for his chance to play.

When it was determined just before kickoff of the Minnesota game last season that neither Hunter or Tarpinian could play, the Hawkeyes tossed Troy Johnson into the weakside breach. All he did was earn Big Ten Defensive Player of Week honors with his performance.

Bruce Davis looked like an animal on special teams and in the few snaps he got in relief of An-gerer last season.

And Tyler Nielsen is one those guys we’ve been hearing about for a few years but seldom have seen because he was stuck behind Edds at the other outside linebacker position.

Now all these guys finally have a chance to start. The competition should be pretty intense.

Going into spring drills, Hunter, Johnson and Nielsen are listed as the starters but it wouldn’t be a shock to see Davis and Tarpinian in the lineup next fall. Whoever ends up on the field, Ferentz is confident they’ll do a great job. They might not be Angerer and Edds, but they’ll be solid.

“Quite frankly I’m almost more worried about a year from now at our linebacker spots,’’ Ferentz admitted. “Sounds kind of funny, with two pretty good seniors graduating, but we are top heavy age wise.’’

He said we’ll undoubtedly see one or two freshmen play a lot of special teams next fall – probably James Morris and possibly Austin Gray? – if only to give them some experience for the following season when Hunter, Johnson and Tarpinian will be gone.

Spievey not a No. 1, but he’s a keeper

Monday, January 11th, 2010

The latest projections by Scout, Inc. have Bryan Bulaga listed as the 27th best player available in April’s NFL Draft. MyNFLDraft.com projects him going No. 28 to Green Bay in the first round of the draft.

Amari Spievey? He’s nowhere to be found in any draft projections. But the junior cornerback is going to test the waters anyway. Spievey confirmed Monday what most of us already assumed to be the case, that he was foregoing his senior season at Iowa to enter the draft.

I have a feeling Spievey, like Bulaga, could be in the NFL for a very long time. Both play positions that always are in great demand at the next level. Everyone seems to be looking for a competent cover corner or a left tackle who can pass block.

But while Bulaga apparently is going to get the big money that comes with being a first-round pick, I’m guessing Spievey won’t get selected until the third or fourth round of the draft. He has fairly average size and speed for his position. And since so many opponents this season avoided throwing the ball in his direction, there may not be a lot on video that will impress the scouts. Whoever picks him, however, probably is going to get a guy that will do a solid job for the next decade or so.

With Spievey turning pro, it seems likely that the Hawkeyes will have six players who are almost certain to get drafted. A recent CBSSports.com listing of the top seniors in the draft had Kyle Calloway listed as the 49th best prospect with Tony Moeaki 74th, A.J. Edds 82nd and Pat Angerer 110th.

Big Ten shut out on Camp All-American team

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

The first of many All-American teams is out and if this is any indication, the Big Ten is not very highly thought of nationwide.

There is not a single Big Ten player on the 25-player first team of the Walter Camp Foundation team. None. Zero. My guess is that might be a first. I certainly don’t recall it happening before. Heck, this might be the first time in a long time there isn’t at least one Ohio State player in there.

There are five Big Ten guys on the second team, including Iowa’s Pat Angerer and Bryan Bulaga, but it’s clear that the people who select these teams don’t think there are any really elite players in the league.
The question: Is that an accurate depiction or just perception?

I’d say it’s perception. Other than offensive skill position players, where there are concrete stats that can be used for comparative purposes, there’s a lot of guesswork that goes into these selec-tions. There are 10 Camp first-teamers from the SEC (Alabama and Florida accounted for seven of those) and seven from the Big 12, and while those leagues are better than the Big Ten right now, they’re not that much better.

For what’s worth, the Big East also got shut out and there was only one ACC player on the first team.

Besides Angerer and Bulaga, other Big Ten players on the second were team were Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones and two Michigan players – defensive end Brandon Graham and punter Zoltan Mesko. No one from either Ohio State or Penn State.

All-Big Ten teams had some surprises

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

There were only a few surprises on the All-Big Ten teams that were announced Monday night. One of the surprises was that Iowa was as well-represented as it was.

I figured the Hawkeyes might get as many as five first-team selections, but they had a league-high seven first-team players on the team chosen by the BigTen coaches, only four on the media team.
The five I thought were deserving: Linebacker Pat Angerer, strong safety Tyler Sash, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga and cornerback Amari Spievey. All of those players made the coaches team and all but Spievey were honored by the media.

The coaches also put Dace Richardson and Tony Moeaki on the first team even though Richardson missed the last 4 ½ games of the conference season and Moeaki was more or less missing in action over that same span.

Other thoughts:

– The offensive line, which never really got its act together, had four players selected. In addition to Bulaga and Richardson, Rafael Eubanks and Kyle Calloway made the second team.

– Although 19 Iowa players received some sort of mention, there was at least one more that merited at least honorable mention. Receiver Marvin McNutt scored six touchdowns in a span of four Big Ten games, including some of the clutch plays of the season.

– Iowa’s defense received the recognition it deserved. The only two starters who didn’t get some sort of mention were Jeremiha Hunter and Shaun Prater.

– Although everyone knew Wisconsin’s John Clay and Penn State’s Evan Royster would be the first team running backs, I thought Adam Robinson had a chance to make the second team. He ended up being honorable mention on both teams with Purdue’s Ralph Bolden and Ohio State’s Brandon Saine making the second team.

– There was widespread disagreement on the first team wide receivers. The coaches picked Minnesota’s Eric Decker and Michigan State’s Blair White. The media went with Indiana’s Tandon Doss and Purdue’s Keith Smith. I would have voted for White and Smith.

– It was interesting that Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick was the coaches’ defensive player of the year, but he wasn’t even first team on the media squad. There’s no way he had a better season than Wisconsin’s O’Brien Schofield, Michigan State’s Greg Jones (the media pick) and Angerer.

– You can’t help but wonder how the coach of the year voting might have gone if the voting hadn’t been done with a week to go in the season. Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz won the award, but Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern club finished very strong, beating Wisconsin in the final game to finish 8-4. Fitz might have gotten a few more votes if the voting was done later.