Bobby La Gesse/Land of 10
Iowa offensive line signee Tristan Wirfs is among a tight-knit group of incoming Hawkeyes.

Why bonding at state track could be a good sign for Iowa’s 2017 class, quarterback as a concern 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 Thursday, May 18.


Becoming Iowa teammates even at state track

Jacob Coons flung the discus. It sailed into the air, ultimately going farther than any discus had ever thrown before. The toss, at the Iowa high school state qualifying meet last week, assured Coons a spot at state.

He was thrilled and his excitement was matched by future Iowa football teammate Tristan Wirfs.

“The best part was Tristan was so happy Jake made it to state,” said Dan Coons, Jacob’s father. “The bond of that class is already starting to show.”

Six Iowa football commits are competing in the state track meet, which starts Thursday.

Four — Levi Duwa, Coy Kirkpatrick, Coons and Wirfs — are from the 2017 class. Each is a thrower and built a bond as future Hawkeyes that extends to the circle.

“We are all going to Iowa,” Jacob Coons said. “We have gone through some of the same stuff. We are starting to learn each other’s stories. We watch each other.”

The quartet are long-time commits. Kirkpatrick was the first to pledge in June 2015. Wirfs and Coons followed in December 2015. Duwa was last, in April 2016.

They quickly formed a bond and became close buddies. It’s common for Wirfs, Coons and Duwa, all eastern Iowa natives, to throw at the same meets. The trio sees Kirkpatrick for big meets such as the Drake Relays or state.

“We are good buddies,” Kirkpatrick said. “We hang out and track has helped us get to know each other. It’s something besides football we all have in common.”

They almost keep better tabs on each other’s performances than their own. Word spread quickly among the group when Kirkpatrick broke his dad’s Madrid High School discus record and when Wirfs recorded the second-longest shot put in state history.

“We look out for each other,” Coons said. “You go see how they do and you pull for them sometimes more than you do for some of the other kids.”

Wirfs is the best of the bunch. He is out to claim back-to-back discus and shot put state titles, assuming his injured ankle holds up.

“He throws some bombs,” Duwa said.

The others will be there watching. Just like they’ll be gathering around when everyone else throws. It’s what they do and Dan Coons, an assistant Solon football coach, believes it’s a good sign for them, and Iowa football, in the coming years.

“If you have kids pulling for each other and not for themselves that is when you have a chance to be special,” he said. “When it doesn’t become about them and it becomes about others that is when they play hard and are pretty successful.”


No time is a good time to miss time

Cordell Pemsl is expected to miss eight weeks following sports hernia surgery, Iowa announced on Wednesday. If there was ever a time for it this is it. Iowa isn’t in season and he won’t miss any games because of the surgery.

Still, sitting most of the summer before his sophomore year isn’t an ideal time to be out. Pemsl, who averaged 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds last season, learned what he needed to work on in his first Big Ten season — and defense and free throws are atop that list. Gaining strength, size and improving conditioning are also a must for anyone entering their second year of college basketball.

Now, Pemsl will get part of the summer. He is expected to take part in the team’s European trip in August, but he won’t get the benefit of a full summer at a time when it would truly help him.


The answer is …

Earlier this week, the Breakfast Club asked for your answer to the question of second-biggest position of concern behind wide receiver. Well …

Poll results

Quarterback 75.88%
Defensive tackle 10.12%
Safety 8.17%
Cornerback 5.84%

The Breakfast Club is inclined to agree. Quarterback is the most important position on the field. A great one can cover up flaws elsewhere in the offense. It’s hard for an offense to overcome a poor one.

There is uncertainty around most programs breaking in a new signal-caller. It doesn’t disappear until a quarterback shows he’s capable of commanding the offense during the regular season. Iowa is no exception.


Lots of links

  • How Tyler Wiegers worked his way back into the quarterback competition.
  • Which Iowa football contest could be prime-time games in 2017?
  • LB Josey Jewell made the Lott Impact Trophy watch list.
  • Passing shouldn’t be as hard for Iowa in 2017 as 2016, writes Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
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