Iowa notes: Beathard and the hall of fame

Nation's top CBs played on same youth football team

IOWA CITY — The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted eight new members on Saturday. Next year, Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard’s grandfather, Bobby Beathard, might have a chance to join them.

In the next two months, a hall of fame selection committee will recommend two people for the contributor category. Bobby Beathard, 79, has been publicly discussed by voters as a possible nominee for one of those two slots. That doesn’t guarantee he would get enshrined, but it would put Bobby Beathard in line for a yes-no vote for his candidacy in February.

To C.J. Beathard, his grandfather should have been there a long time ago.

“No doubt do I think he’s a hall of famer,” C.J. Beathard said Saturday. “He’s been to seven Super Bowls. I think the only thing that’s held him back from being a hall of famer is drafting Ryan Leaf. That’s the only bad decision he ever made. I think anybody in his position would have made the same decision. Peyton Manning was the No. 1 (pick in the) draft. The Chargers had the No. 2 pick and they went with Ryan Leaf. They needed a quarterback; he was the second-best quarterback. I think anybody would have drafted him.

“He tells me to this day he wanted Manning. Manning was their guy.”

Bobby Beathard was a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I, served as director of player personnel for the Miami Dolphins’ back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1972 and 1973 and was general manager for the San Diego Chargers, which lost the 1994 Super Bowl.

Beathard is best known as the general manager of the Washington Redskins from 1978-88. The Redskins played in three Super Bowls and won two. Washington averaged nearly 10 wins a season and were 11-3 in the playoffs under Beathard. He drafted four hall of famers in his career (Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, Art Monk, Junior Seau) and hired Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.


Perhaps the nation’s best two cornerbacks not only compete in the Big Ten, but were part of the same youth football team.

Iowa’s Desmond King and Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis were teammates in the Detroit PAL Youth Football League from ages 10 to 13, King said Saturday. Also on that team was Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell.

So was that team beating opponents like 100-0?

“No, it really wasn’t like that,” King said. “But we were the top team.”

King, who had eight interceptions, is the reigning the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back) and a consensus All-American last year. Pro Football Focus ranked Lewis, who had an incredible 20 pass breakups, as the nation’s top defensive back last year and King second.

All three players attended different high schools in Detroit. At East English Village Prep, King mostly played running back while Lewis played wide receiver at Cass Tech. Both switched to defense upon arrival on campus.

“It’s a blessing to be up there at the same level as someone that you know when you were little,” King said. “We talk often. A pretty good amount.”

How can Desmond King improve in 2016?



Iowa’s football complex features a locker room for returning NFL players, who often train in Iowa City. It’s a mutually beneficial situation for both the program and those players, Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle said.

“It helps everybody,” Doyle said. “Our young guys, they step out to the field and they look to the right or the left and they’re running conditioning drills and they see a (Marshal) Yanda or (Matt) Tobin or see guys out here working with them. That’s incredibly valuable because they see the type of work ethic and role model right out there in front of them. I think it’s also good for the NFL guys because they come back and they can kind of reconnect with what got them there. It works both ways.”

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