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The NFL draft, the NCAA transfer portal, and the status of name, image and likeness legislation in U.S. states will all affect your college football team’s roster.
“One thing that I think has changed dramatically in just in my eyes the last five years is you need to accept and probably plan for the fact that you’re going to lose more and more guys to early entry to the National Football League,” Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said Wednesday.
“That standard is just changed. Once upon a time guys were waiting until they were surefire first-round picks.”
The draft, Ferentz said, “does screw with your numbers a little bit and what you try to do is look at the transfer portal to address that. That’s how we’ve approached it, trying to build depth.
“We did it with (offensive lineman) Coy Cronk last year, we tried to do it two years ago with the tight end (Rutgers transfer Travis Vokolek) that we got pretty serious with, and he ended up going to a different school (Nebraska).
“That’s ultimately the difficult part about the transfer portal as well. You’re recruiting. It’s not free agency. You can’t just go out and sign players to meet your needs, you have to go out and recruit them and they still have to make decisions. So we’re trying to use it to bolster our roster more than building.”
Iowa offered Xavior Williams of Burlington the chance to join the Hawkeyes as a preferred walk-on out of high school. Williams preferred a scholarship offer from Northern Iowa, and intercepted nine passes over three seasons there. Then he got in the portal last winter and made his way down I-380 to Iowa City.
“We’re going to miss the days of the fifth-year senior that has been developed from start to finish,” UNI Coach Mark Farley said during a Zoom conference. “That’s the hard part right now.
“They really have to stay at a school to get developed from start to finish … to go from Point A to Point B as an 18-year-old to 22 or 23 … to me that’s how to make it. You go in, you do the work, you do the time, you’re in a great consistent program from start to finish. You make gains.
“It’s when you start jumping around trying to find that match, I don’t know if you get fully developed.”
Meanwhile, Kansas State Athletics Director Gene Taylor recently said K-State football coach Chris Klieman plans to hold 10 spots out of a 25-man recruiting class for players in the transfer portal moving forward.
That number will surely be fluid, but wow. Kansas State, by the way, is the new home of former Hawkeye defensive back Julius Brents.
Noah Fenske, who had been the Hawkeyes’ No. 2 center, transferred from Iowa to Colorado within the last week. He joins a Buffaloes team with seven other transfers from FBS programs and 12 former junior college players.
The name/image/likeness thing also will affect recruiting, especially before it becomes a national law.
Eleven states have passed laws allowing college athletes to be paid for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses. The laws go into effect on July 1 in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and New Mexico, and on July 23 in Arizona. Michigan’s law is set to take effect on December 31, 2022.
“I don’t think any state is happy about this legislation, but we’re seeing this as a necessity,” Mississippi state representative C. Scott Bounds told Sports Illustrated. “We don’t want to lose a competitive edge in recruiting, both athletically and academically, especially against those in the Southeastern Conference.”
“I’m sitting in a home and I’m saying you know, 'Come to Arkansas,' all these different wonderful reasons to come to the university,” Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman told his state’s House Education Committee last month. “And they’re over there, going to Oklahoma and they’re going 'Well, Oklahoma says I’m going to have opportunities to make money on my name, likeness and image.'
“I’m screwed. I’m done."
He’s not. Arkansas passed an NIL law last week.
An NIL bill died in the Iowa Senate earlier this month. If you’re a coach in Arkansas or Michigan, you might mention that to players you’re recruiting who are also considering Iowa or Iowa State.
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