Why Iowa RB Toren Young’s emergence is good for Akrum Wadley, latest basketball offers, and more
The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Iowa Breakfast Club here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is the Iowa Breakfast Club for Tuesday, April 25.
The best sign for Akrum Wadley
More pounds. More carries.
It sounds like an inspirational shirt the Iowa football staff made up for RB Akrum Wadley. It’s really the essence of the conversation between coach Kirk Ferentz and Wadley when the back finally hit the staff’s long-sought goal of weighing 190 pounds this offseason.
“He kind of like congratulated me,” Wadley told Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman.
“Just keep at it, the more pounds, the more carries. That’s definitely encouraging. That motivates me to keep eating.”
The weight is good news, but it’s not the best news for Wadley this spring. The emergence of RB Toren Young as a viable contributor means more.
Young showed playmaking potential during the 15 practices and in the spring game. The redshirt freshman displayed the necessary skills to be a secondary ball carrier to Wadley’s leading man.
Young piling up carries is in Wadley’s, and Iowa’s, best interest.
The Hawkeyes need a big season from Wadley, the focal point of a run-first offense. His playmaking, elusiveness, speed and pass-catching ability give the offense an element no one else replicates.
He can be as big of a threat in the passing game as in the running game. He was the offensive reason Iowa upset No. 3 Michigan in November, accounting for 73 percent of Iowa’s total yards. It’s going to be extremely hard for a team breaking in a new quarterback and with questions at wide receiver to succeed without Wadley leading the way.
Wadley needs a big season for his future, as well. It’s the key to maximizing his first pro contract — the better he does, the higher he’ll be drafted in the 2018 draft.
The NFL isn’t why Wadley is suiting up for Iowa this season, but you can’t pretend a strong senior season isn’t a tangible benefit for his future.
The team and Wadley need him at his best, which comes with sharing some carries with Young. No matter how much weight Wadley puts on, he’s never going to be physically capable of handling 30-plus carries a game. He’ll break down.
He played through most of last season with a partially torn left meniscus. Keeping him fresh and healthy, where he can maximize his impact on each touch, is a must. Wadley’s 6.4 yards per rush was the second highest among the Big Ten’s top 10 rushing backs. His 168 rushes was second fewest in the group. He can add some carries this season and maintain his efficient playmaking ability.
But there will be a point of diminishing returns. That’s why the back of any “More pounds. More carries” T-shirt needs to say “More Young. More Wadley yards.”
Jane Meyer trial update
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta took the stand for a second day at the trial on Monday. Most of his testimony centered on the firing of former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, according to the Des Moines Register’s Jeremiah Davis.
The testimony reportedly was compelling because it detailed what exactly led Barta to fire a successful coach. The comments aren’t going to be the most vital part of testimony in a case alleging sexual orientation and gender discrimination against a former athletic department official. (That likely will be whether the jury believes Jane Meyer’s or Barta’s version of the meeting where she questioned his firing of Griesbaum.)
It was interesting to see the steps that led to the firing. Barta said player accusations were important and so was Griesbaum’s refusal to change her coaching style. Barta reportedly testified that one player claimed Griesbaum told a player that if she were her, she would kill herself.
Bring on the offers
The Iowa men’s basketball team extended offers to a pair of 2019 point guards on Monday. Tyrell Terry, from Minneapolis De La Salle, was the first to post his offer on social media. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Terry is a 4-star 247Sports prospect and ranked No. 103 nationally.
— Tyrell Terry™ (@tyterry05) April 24, 2017
Jeremiah Francis of Pickerington (Ohio) Central High, also received an offer. The 6-3, 190-pound Francis is tabbed as a 4-star 247Sports prospect and is ranked No. 81 overall.
— Jeremiah Francis? (@JFrancis30_) April 25, 2017
As of Tuesday, it appears Iowa may have a better shot at pulling Terry out of Minnesota than Francis out of Ohio. Ohio State is considered the front-runner for Francis. His dad is former 1980’s Ohio State basketball standout Jerry Francis.