IOWA CITY — Tyler Goodson’s emergence as lead running back could have another effect on the Iowa football program. Perhaps the Hawkeyes can successfully recruit the state of Georgia a little more now.
The true freshman is from North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee. He and linebacker Jayden McDonald committed to Iowa in back-to-back recruiting classes, though McDonald entered the NCAA transfer portal after fall practice began this year.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz gave running backs coach Derek Foster credit for helping bring Goodson into his program.
“I think Derek has done a good job the last couple years of working that area and building a good rapport with Tyler,” Ferentz said. “It worked out well. If we can cherry pick guys from anywhere there is talent ...
“You’ve got your big population states like Texas, Florida and California. A lot of prospects there. But I’ve always felt like Georgia high school football is probably as good as you’re going to find anywhere. Them and Ohio are two of the better states that aren’t one of the three I mentioned a minute ago. So if you can go and find some guys that fit what you’re doing, hopefully there is a mutual admiration, obviously.”
Obviously, programs like Iowa cannot sustain themselves on having only in-state kids. There just aren’t enough of them, and you’ve got another FBS program two hours away at Iowa State and a good FCS program an hour and a half away at Northern Iowa.
That makes border games like Saturday’s against Illinois even more important. Iowa has 24 players on its roster from that state.
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“Anywhere you can drive to is in our (recruiting) priority zone,” Ferentz said. “The previous area we mentioned, Atlanta, is a non-stop flight. Those kids you probably have a little bit better opportunity on sometimes. Although I think as the years go on, the travel barriers aren’t as steep as they used to be. Social media has probably had something to do with that.
“But, yeah, Illinois is a priority state for us. You can drive to Chicago and back by the time you get up to the northwest corner of our state. Yet there are a lot more people recruiting there, too. The competition is steep. Although there are a lot more people that come into our state now ... It makes it harder.”
Jackson Subbert a Mannelly finalist
Iowa senior Jackson Subbert has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Patrick Mannelly Award, Iowa announced Tuesday. The Mannelly Award goes to the best overall long snapper in Division I.
Subbert, from Williamsburg, has played in 19 straight games for Iowa, handling all snaps for punts, field goals and extra points. Iowa kicker Keith Duncan has made all 21 of his extra points this season and leads the nation with 23 field goals in 26 attempts.
Patrick Mannelly set a Chicago Bears record with 245 games played and is widely considered the best long snapper in modern NFL history. Former Iowa long snapper Casey Kreiter is with the Denver Broncos and was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl, after handling 146 snaps without an unplayable delivery.
Iowa redshirt ramblings
Ferentz said junior running back Ivory Kelly-Martin will for sure redshirt this season. Kelly-Martin has played in four games this season (the NCAA limit to still be able to redshirt) but has basically fallen to No. 4 on the depth chart.
True freshman offensive lineman Justin Britt is at three games played, and Ferentz said he will be shut down from playing the rest of the season unless he is needed, preserving his redshirt. Sophomore safety Kaevon Merriweather is in the same situation as Britt.
“As this point, if we can do that, it’s something that we’d like to do,” Ferentz said.
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Tickets available for Iowa-Illinois
Iowa announced Tuesday that approximately 10,000 tickets still remain available for Saturday’s game against Illinois.
The Hawkeyes have had two sellouts of 69,250 this season: the opener against Miami (Ohio) and homecoming Oct. 19, against Purdue. It was a near sellout for the Oct. 12 night game against Penn State (69,034).
Last week’s game against Minnesota drew 67,518 fans. Iowa still surpassed 60,000 for its other two home games: 63,706 against Middle Tennessee and 61,808 against Rutgers.
Is that turnover cherry or apple?
Illinois leads the nation in turnover margin at +1.40 per game. The Illini also are tops in defensive touchdowns (6), turnovers gained (26), forced fumbles (17), fumble recoveries (16) and are seventh nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.3).
Yet they still allow 25.7 points per game, which is just 10th in the Big Ten. Illinois’ rushing defense ranks 13th in the conference, giving up just under 200 yards a game (196.2).
The 2018 Iowa-Illinois blowout
Iowa beat Illinois last season, 63-0, the margin of victory the largest in the 74-game series between the schools.
The 63-point margin is the largest in the Kirk Ferentz era.
His name really is Lovie
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith’s real first name really is Lovie. The 61-year-old Texas native was named after his great aunt, Lavana. His full name is Lovie Lee Smith.
Now you know.
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