Pinstripe Bowl Knowledge: Hesse family football, Wadley's corner daze

Also, nothing new on the NFL draft advisory front


Boston College head coach Steve Addazio and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz answer questions during a New Era Pinstripe Bowl press conference at Yankees Stadium in New York City on  Dec. 26, 2017. (Manish Gosalia/Freelance)
Boston College head coach Steve Addazio and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz answer questions during a New Era Pinstripe Bowl press conference at Yankees Stadium in New York City on Dec. 26, 2017. (Manish Gosalia/Freelance)

NEW YORK — If you are in the Hesse family and you don’t like football, congratulations for making it through the fall and all of those car rides.

If you are in the Hesse family, you’re probably playing football anyway.

You know Parker Hesse. He’s a junior defensive lineman for the Hawkeyes. Between snaps at end and tackle, Hesse had his best season with 3.5 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss. He also tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles, had two pass breakups and came up with a key interception late in the Iowa State game that helped Iowa send the game into overtime and eventually win.

That’s one football-playing Hesse.

Peyton Hesse did a little bit of everything as a sophomore cornerback for Coe this season. He had 25 tackles, returned five punts, returned 10 kickoffs and also caught four passes on offense (he played wide receiver last season).

Pryce Hesse played guard/defensive tackle for Waukon’s Class 2A state champions this season.

Perry and Marcia Hesse probably know the drive from their home in Waukon to Iowa City and Cedar Rapids like their sons know football.

“They were coming down to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City every week,” Parker said. “Sometimes, it worked out so they could see all three games.”

Of course, Parker is locked into Iowa football. That is the demand. This is why college football has this thing called the “bye week.”

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“I actually got a chance to see both of them play during the bye week,” Parker said. “They both played at home. Obviously, that was a lot of fun. With all of us doing it in our family, it’s something we all kind of focus on. Getting to see them play was a big deal.”

Parker seriously enjoyed Pryce and Waukon’s state title. During his senior season, Parker played quarterback and pushed Waukon to the 2013 2A state final, where it fell to Carroll Kuemper, 31-28. Pryce’s Waukon team left no doubt, beating Williamsburg 29-0.

“I’ll bet the whole town was there that day,” Parker said. “It was definitely something positive for the town.”

— At some point early in his career, Akrum Wadley had enough of running back and decided to give corner a try.

It lasted a week.

“I want to say it was a week,” Wadley said. “OK, I spent a few days at corner. Some of the older guys I play with, they tease me, but they know what it is. I would’ve been a really good corner.”

Of course, this never got off the ground. Wadley knew he belonged on offense. With 34 career TDs going into today’s Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College, he needs two to tie Tavian Banks for Iowa’s career TD record.

Wadley termed his stay at corner “mediocre.”

“No one was going to burn me,” he said. “I would’ve gotten a flag first.”

Let’s defer to junior Josh Jackson, Iowa’s consensus and unanimous all-American corner, on Wadley’s corner play. Jackson is a fourth-year junior. He was there.

How was he really?

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“Well, he wasn’t very good,” said Jackson, who’s among the national leaders for interceptions and passes defended. “He couldn’t back pedal.”

But . . .

“Nah, he wasn’t that bad,” Jackson said laughing. “He just didn’t have good hips. He’s a running back. He’s a good athlete, so I’m sure if he spent time at corner and learned the techniques, but it’s hard to be running forward for your whole life and then try to run backward.”

And that’s really the truth. If you’re an athlete and you spend the time training and learning the position, it will work eventually.

“The more reps and days you put together playing a position and you’re like a really natural athlete, you can do anything you want to do,” Wadley said.

But really, Wadley is a natural-born running back.

“Yeah, I wasn’t interested in playing corner,” he said.

 

 

— Last year, linebacker Josey Jewell did ask for an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory committee. It gives three grades: first round, second round and stay in school.

Jewell obviously stayed in school. Jackson (seven interceptions and 25 passes defended this year) and center James Daniels followed that path this year and received favorable grades. Obviously, if any decision has been made by either, it’s not public.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz fielded one NFL question during Tuesday’s news conference with the Pinstripe Bowl head coaches.

“We’ll figure that out next week,” Ferentz said.

And that was that.

Having dipped a toe in the process, Jewell believes Jackson will be fine handling this.

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“I don’t think he needs a lot of advice on that,” Jewell said. “I think he knows which way he needs to go. I was a little different scenario. I wasn’t close to the level he’s at right now. It’s different for both of us, but I’m sure he’ll handle it correctly.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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