Hlas: Another 63-47, offense-light Friday night in Kinnick

Some Hawkeye spring football game notes and observations

IOWA CITY — The score of Iowa’s spring football game Friday night was 63-47, yet there were just three touchdowns.

If you’re ever asked to explain that in an IQ or SAT test, good luck. In the meantime ...

1. Running back Akrum Wadley didn’t play, but we know what he can do. He had 1,396 total yards last season, 1,081 rushing and 315 receiving.

He wants 1,400 yards in 2017, too. Well, 1,400 rushing yards.

“First of all,’ he said Friday night, “we need to win a Big Ten championship. We’ve got to win our four trophies.

“As for personal goals, I would like to get at least 1,400 yards, win the Doak Walker (the award for the nation’s top running back).”

While you’re at it, he was asked, what about the Heisman Trophy?

“That, too,” he said after thinking about it for a moment. “That, too.”

In January, Wadley toyed with the idea of turning pro but quickly shut that down. The main reason was the input he got from his parents. His mother, Sharonda Phelps, was particularly adamant about it.

“My mother, I always go with her decisions,” Wadley said. “She’s never been wrong. Even with the girlfriends I choose —- I’m single right now —- even with that, she’s been right. So I always roll with her decision.”

2. Sophomore-to-be Drew Cook is a tight end. It was a little odd seeing quarterback-turned-receiver-turned quarterback Ryan Boyle throw a pass to quarterback-turned-tight end Cook Friday.


Cook, the son of former Hawkeye All-America tight end Marv Cook, is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. With that frame and DNA, the change should work in time. Cook was one of five Hawkeye tight ends who caught passes Friday, and the other four are ahead of him.

More: Tight ends 'critical' to Iowa's success out of spring

3. Speaking of 6-5, sophomore-to-be tight ends, Noah Fant could really become quite a weapon. Especially if Iowa gets a vertical passing game organized sometime this autumn. It didn’t have much of one Friday.

Crikey, the Hawkeyes had just one wide receiver in uniform Friday who had caught passes in actual games, and that was Ronald Nash with two.

But that fit right in, experience-wise, with the top two quarterbacks. Nathan Stanley has just five completions in college games that count. Tyler Wiegers has three. Both looked like it Friday. It’s only April, but September comes at you fast in college football.

More: No separation in Iowa's QB competition

4. Junior-to-be safety Jake Gervase had three interceptions, and returned one 59 yards for a touchdown. He is a first-teamer because incumbent starter Brandon Snyder tore an ACL not long ago.

Gervase walked on at Iowa in 2014. He was placed on scholarship three months ago.

“I had a couple of Division I-AA (FCS) offers, one Division I (FBS) offer from Air Force,” Gervase said. “When I got the opportunity to visit here I just had a gut feeling this was the place for me.”


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He had 16 career interceptions at Davenport Assumption, saying he was “0-for-16” in returning them for TDs. He also never had a three-pick game as a prep.

“It’s the same thing in high school as here,” Gervase said about his interceptions. “It’s all about the guys up front.”

That’s a team-guy answer, and not without truth to it. But Gervase didn’t get the benefit of any fluky caroms.

“He looked like he got good jumps on those balls, read them well, and made some good plays, certainly,” said Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz.

Gervase wears No. 30, just like another one-time walk-on safety from the Quad Cities. Brett Greenwood of Bettendorf, who attended Pleasant Valley High, had 12 interceptions as a Hawkeye from 2007-2010. That’s a good guy to copy, and Gervase knows it.

5. Iowa’s Friday’s attendance was 16,500. This wasn’t any kind of true dry run for when the school hosts a Friday night regular-season game. Which it will do soon enough at the Big Ten’s behest, maybe for the 2018 season-opener against Northern Illinois.

This, I know: Southbound I-380 between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City between 4 and 6 p.m. on a weeknight doesn’t need additional traffic between 4 and 6 p.m. because of a game at Kinnick.

Or for any other reason.



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