Iowa Football

A Duzey of a list: Iowa Hawkeyes football all-name team of the 21st century

From Angerer to Zusevics, these are the best handles from Kirk Ferentz's Iowa teams

Offensive linemen Markus Zusevics and Riley Reiff, at the Iowa football team's spring game at Kinnick Stadium in 2010. B
Offensive linemen Markus Zusevics and Riley Reiff, at the Iowa football team’s spring game at Kinnick Stadium in 2010. Both are on Mike Hlas’ Hawkeye football all-name team for the 21st Century. (Mike Hlas/The Gazette)

The following couldn’t be less important.

This has nothing to do with anything serious. It has zero journalistic value, and will provide zero enlightenment. It’s pure fluff. It serves no purpose other than an attempt to amuse or spark some friendly disagreement.

It’s for fun. Fun is good. ...

While watching last week’s NFL draft — and becoming more convinced than ever that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and I would never be friends — I heard a lot of interesting names selected in the three-day affair. Among my favorites:

Chase Young. Henry Ruggs III. Jerry Jeudy. CeeDee Lamb. Jordan Love. Those were first-rounders. Later, we got Tee Higgins, Jalen Hurts, Neville Gallimore, Tanner Muse, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Shaquille Quarterman, DeeJay Dallas, Kindle Vildor, Harrison Hand, Simon Stepaniak, Arlington Hambright, Tristan Wirfs. Outstanding.

So I started thinking about what the best names of 21st-century Iowa Hawkeyes football players would be, and have chosen them by position. I may very well have missed some. Chime in if you think so.

Offense

Quarterback: Drew Tate. Quarterbacks, like other male celebrities (Brad Pitt, Chris Rock, Tom Hanks), should have names as tight as a good spiral. Drew Brees, Tom Brady … OK, Patrick Mahomes gets a pass, so to speak.

Backup: Ricky Stanzi, barely over Brad Banks.

Running back: Akrum Wadley. Google “Akrum.” See how long it takes you to find someone other than Wadley. If he had gone on to NFL stardom, thousands of infants today would have the name “Akrum.”

Backups: So many. Ladell Betts is a great name. Fred Russell’s simplicity is great, plus Fred is an old-school name. Then there’s Paki O’Meara, Marcus Schnoor, Siaka Massaquoi. By the way, I’ve tried to get in touch with O’Meara for years. He may be the most-interesting former Hawkeye of this century. Can anyone out there facilitate that?

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Fullback: Edgar Cervantes. The “Edgar” part of his name alone wins it. Great name. That he and receiver Ramon Ochoa came from Los Angeles to Iowa remains an outlier for the Iowa program under Kirk Ferentz, and a very good one at that.

Backups: Brady Ross and Drake Kulick. The former sounds like a tough guy, which he is. The latter makes me think of a soap opera character Joey Tribbiani played on “Friends.” That was Dr. Drake Ramoray. I’d love to hear Drake Kulick talk to Joey on one of Drake’s podcasts.

Wide receivers: Marvin McNutt, Clinton Solomon. It was tough to leave Kevonte Martin-Manley off the first team. But Marvin McNutt is a great name, period. Clinton Solomon is a stately name, which I go for. As you’ll see when we get to defensive backs.

Backups: Martin-Manley, Ochoa. Two current ones, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Nico Ragaini, are worthy contenders.

Tight end: Jake Duzey. So many other Hawkeye tight ends under Kirk Ferentz have gotten honors for their play. They don’t measure up to Duzey name-wise, though.

Backup: T.J. Hockenson. If he weren’t a football player, he’d have no choice but to be a TV detective.

Offensive linemen: Riley Reiff, Julian Vandervelde, Tristan Wirfs, Marshal Yanda, Markus Zusevics. I always liked the sound of Riley Reiff’s name. You don’t call him “Reiff.” It has to be “Riley Reiff.”

Julian Vandervelde sounds like royalty, someone who arrives to the stadium in a carriage before entering the barbaric arena. “Tristan” is a fabulous name, one that goes back several centuries. If your first name is “Marshal” or “Marshall,” you automatically command respect, don’t you? Markus Zusevics is a grandson of Latvian immigrants and can speak Latvian, which is good enough for me.

Backups: Conor Boffeli, Ike Boettger, Bryan Bulaga, Rafael Eubanks, Keegan Render.

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Special mention: David Davidkov of Winnetka, Ill., a four-star 2021 recruit, committed to Iowa Monday. What else could his parents have given him for a first name other than “David?” His parents emigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria. His father was a hockey player on national junior teams in Bulgaria. David Davidkov will be a story at Iowa, and his name will only help it flourish.

Defense

Defensive line: Jonathan Babineaux, Louis Trinca-Pasat, Broderick Binns, Chauncey Golston. They all sound like historical figures, or at the least, actors who starred in stage productions of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Backups: Karl Klug, Drew Ott, A.J. Epenesa, Carl Davis. You might say “Carl Davis” sounds like a pedestrian name. I say if you’re a Carl Davis, no one messes with you.

Linebackers: Pat Angerer, Josey Jewell, Bo Bower. “Angerer” is a great name for a linebacker. It’s like Chuck Long for a quarterback. Josey Jewell, well, how do you top that? You can be “Bo” anything and have a good name, but Bo Bower really works.

Backups: Edmond Miles, Djimon Colbert, Barrington Wade. And, Fred Barr’s right there. The Hawkeyes had a good run of Freds in Kirk Ferentz’s early years as Iowa’s head coach.

Defensive backs: Geno Stone, Micah Hyde, Chic Ejiasi, and the combined entry of Bradley Fletcher and Charles Godfrey. Geno Stone simply has a great name for a football player. “Micah Hyde” rolls off the tongue. Chic Ejiasi is a slam dunk here.

Bradley Fletcher and Charles Godfrey sound like they could be anything they wanted, be it a network TV anchor, the head of a Fortune 500 company, or even the president of the United Nations.

Backups: There are so many good candidates at this position, like Nico Law, John Lowdermilk, Marcus Paschal, Sean Considine, Michael Ojemudia, Manny Rugamba, Miles Taylor.

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Special teams

Punter: Connor Kornbrath, by the tip of a football over Andy Fenstermaker and Michael Sleep-Dalton. If the team wasn’t from Iowa, I’d have taken Fenstermaker over Kornbrath.

Long snapper: Casey Kreiter. There aren’t many to choose from. Since there are four Casey’s General Stores within 2.1 miles of my house — honest! — I have to go with Kreiter.

Kicker: Miguel Recinos. Although, the simplicity of Mike Meyer’s name works fine.

Assistant coach

Norm Parker, with Phil Parker a close second. Those are just great names for coaches, and you know it. That they weren’t related but have both had the impact on Iowa’s defense that they had/have makes it all the better.

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Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.