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 Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Bison feel like another Big Ten foe
The schedule says North Dakota State is a nonconference contest for Iowa on Saturday. The tape says something else.
The Bison reminds the Hawkeyes of a Big Ten team, several of them, in fact.
“Every position, both sides of the ball, those guys hit. They hit really good,” Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson said. “They kind of remind me of a Wisconsin-type offensive line and the way they run their offense. They want to pound the ball down our defense’s throat.”
Wisconsin was a common comparison for North Dakota State, especially on the offensive line and the run game. Michigan State was another team players threw out. Coach Kirk Ferentz also mentioned Stanford.
Regardless of which team was brought up, it meant the same thing. It was a compliment that and FCS team plays the game like a squad from the FBS, specifically one from the Midwest.
“We’ve got to be ready for everything,” Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell said. “It’s almost like a Big Ten opponent. You have to be ready for smash-mouth football.”
Hawkeyes injury report
The Iowa football news conference on Tuesday confirmed plenty of news that was mentioned or hinted at over the weekend.
Ferentz said there was a good chance defensive lineman Parker Hesse would return. Hesse injured his hamstring in the opener and didn’t play last week against Iowa State. His return would give Iowa a strong rotation at defensive end with the emergence of Anthony Nelson during Hesse’s absence.
The release of the depth chart, without center James Daniels on it, gave the indication he won’t face North Dakota State. Ferentz wouldn’t rule him out, yet.
“We’ll see what he can do,” Ferentz said of Daniels. “He’s moving around pretty good right now. We’ll play that day by day.”
He also said a handful of players were considered day by day. Ferentz didn’t name names, but offensive guard Sean Welsh did come in and out of the lineup against Iowa State with an ankle injury. When asked about running back Akrum Wadley, Ferentz said “he was OK.”
“Backs get banged up,” Ferentz said. “That’s part of the deal.”
It will be worth monitoring to see if the back issue lingers for Wadley, who is one of Iowa’s top offensive playmakers.
What team offered him?
Ferentz typically isn’t big on knowing what other teams offer Iowa recruiting targets. His attitude does change when North Dakota State enters the picture.
“If they are recruiting someone, that gets our attention,” Ferentz said. “I’m not a big one for, ‘Who is this guy recruiting?’ I rarely ask our staff when we look at prospects. If North Dakota State is looking at them, that does get my attention because I think they’ve done a wonderful job, not only guys in Iowa, but across the Midwest.”
The Hawkeyes and Bison do similar things on the recruiting trail. They identify players that can fit their system, and then develop them.
Both recruit across the same geographic areas. They may not always end up recruiting the same player — there can be a difference in the player a Big Ten team and a FCS team can target — but they do end up crossing paths on the road.
“We see Iowa a lot when we are in the state of Iowa, when we are in Wisconsin, when we are in Nebraska, South Dakota,” North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman said. “They have guys from our region scattered throughout.”
And the nominees are
Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley is one of 36 finalists for the National Football Foundation National High School Scholar-Athlete Award.
The award is given to a 2016 high school graduate now playing college football and the judging criteria is accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens from their high school days.
There will be one winner from each of the five regions across the country. Stanley is a Midwest region nominee. The winners will be announced the week of Oct. 3.