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. 28.
How to replace a starter
Iowa offensive tackle Cole Croston knows what the Hawkeyes wide receivers are going through with the Matt VandeBerg injury.
Croston was thrust into action when Boone Myers was injured against North Texas last season. He earned his first start a week later against Wisconsin.
Croston knows the only way for a player to feel like they belong and gain confidence is to play well when replacing a starter. But he also knows someone — like wide receiver Jay Scheel or Ronald Nash — can walk into a game certain they’ll succeed. It’s all about what teammates and coaches do around them.
Croston thought the way that Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive line coach Brian Ferentz dealt with him leading up to his first start was beneficial.
“They instilled that confidence in me before I was even a starter,” Croston said. “They pushed me in practice and told me that I had to be ready to do this.”
Practice was a major factor too, Croston said. Succeeding there made him feel like he’d be ready for game day.
“The difficulty that they put on us in practice is way harder than it is in a game,” Croston said. “So being able to do those things in practice, I would say, makes it so you can do those things in games.”
Teammates also matter, especially those in the position group. Their belief in an inexperienced player can rub off.
“When you get out there having other guys that are confident in you and backing you up telling you that you can do it, it’s a great feeling,” Croston said.
It worked for him. Saturday will show if something similar will work for the wide receivers after VandeBerg broke his right foot in practice on Monday.
Putting football in its place
Iowa center James Daniels was asked about his knee. He said he shouldn’t really complain about it.
Here’s why: Elijah Cofield, a former high school teammate of his at Harding High School in Ohio, was shot in the head earlier this month.
Daniels said Cofield required surgery and is doing better now.
“The day before I hurt my knee, one of my friends back home, my high school teammate, he got shot in the head,” Daniels said. “So I would rather have surgery to get my knee fixed than have surgery (on) my head.”
The news gave Daniels plenty of perspective. Daniels returned from his knee injury last week against Rutgers.
Care packages explained
Iowa recently sent out goody bags to former Hawkeyes in the NFL. Ferentz explained why on Tuesday.
“It’s just a way to let those guys know we’re thinking about them,” Ferentz said, “congratulate them on — it’s significant to make an NFL team or be on a practice squad. That’s a really significant accomplishment. It’s not the end-all, but we just want to let them know, hey, we’re thinking of them. They’re still in the family, and it’s something I think they appreciate, so it’s a little thing.”
— Brandon Scherff (@bscherff68) September 27, 2016
Iowa is in need of playmakers at wide receiver. What about cornerback Desmond King? He would be all for it.
“If anything comes up, I am open to do it if I just get that opportunity to help our offense out,” King said. “I am up for it. Right now, there hasn’t been any discussion about it.”
It would be interesting to see. King is a playmaker in the secondary and in the return game. King said Iowa didn’t decide if he’d play defensive back or wide receiver until just before he arrived for camp.
He’d probably be able to help out, but it won’t likely happen. Ferentz said he hasn’t considered using King on offense.
Here’s a recap of the injuries that Ferentz went over on Tuesday:
- Running back Derrick Mitchell has returned to practice.
- Tight end Jon Wisnieski is practicing, too.
- Wide receiver Adrian Falconer isn’t practicing due to injury.
- Defensive end Michael Slater is back practicing.
- Defensive lineman Jake Hulett is still a few weeks away from returning to practice.