The Ferentz Era in Florida

The topic of Iowa football and recruiting in Florida came to a head Tuesday night in Des Moines when Recruiting Coordinator Eric Johnson said the program would not be making Florida a priority in the near future.

Johnson’s comments echoed that of Kirk Ferentz from last winter when he decided not to assign one of his assistant coaches to the Sunshine State for the first time during his tenure at Iowa. Not surprisingly, this last recruiting class didn’t have any Florida preps in it, also the first time that has happened under Ferentz.

Johnson said they feel they have the best chance to land and keep players on campus who come from no farther than six to eight hours away form campus. This is obviously not a hard and fast rule, but for the most part you will see this in an Iowa recruiting class.

While Iowa has had several successes or ‘hits’ from their Florida recruiting efforts, they have had far more ‘misses’. Here is the Florida Recruiting Record from the Kirk Ferentz era.

Fred Barr (HIT): Great player, great motor, great CyHawk Smack Talk
Mo Brown (HIT): Possibly the most physically gifted receiver Iowa has had in my lifetime. Shaky start, solid finish
Colin Cole (HIT): Still the biggest starting defensive tackle of the Ferentz era

3 of 3 Hits

Charlie Bodiford (MISS): Transfered
Aramis Haralson (MISS): Transfered
Jhante Jones (MISS): Transfered
George Lewis (HIT): Injuries lowered his ceiling, but had a nice senior year
Benny Sapp (MISS): Would have been a bit hit but off the field actions led to his dismissal

1 of 5 Hits

Antwan Allen (HIT): ‘Tweezy’ had a solid career and was pressed into action early following Sapp’s dismissal
Darius Butler (MISS): Transfered
Fabian Dodd (MISS): Transfered, wound up at Iowa State
Abdul Hodge (HIT): Big time hit, one of the best people Iowa has ever recruited
CJ Jones (HIT): Juco transfer who did well, cousin to Brad Banks

3 of 5 Hits

Marcus Paschal (HIT): Great player, one of the last ‘great ones’ Iowa has gotten from Florida
Ed Miles (HIT): Injuries kept him from being as good as he might have been
Larry Thomas (MISS): Transfered

2 of 3 Hits

NOTE OF DEMARCATION: Bret Bielema left Iowa for Kansas State for the 2002 season. He was still with Iowa during the 2001 season and was Iowa’s Florida recruiter until he left. He had a 9 of 16 hits to misses ratio and some of the biggest hits of the Ferentz era which more than offsets the misses. If you are familiar with the movie ‘Stripes’, cue the scene where Bill Murray said ‘And then, depression set in’.

2003: 0 of 1
Chris Brevi (MISS): Transfered

2004: 1 of 1
Damian Sims (HIT): Sims, along with Albert Young are the last Iowa running backs to make it at Iowa four years

2005: 0 of 2
Vernon Jackson (MISS): Transfered
Kalvin Bailey (MISS): Transfered

2006: 0 of 2
Lance Tillison (MISS): Never factored into two deep
Troy Johnson (MISS): Never factored into two deep

2007: 0 of 1
Jevon Pugh (MISS): Transfered

2008: 0 of 2
Jeff Brinson (MISS): Transfered
David Blackwell (MISS): Academics

2009: 0 of 1
Josh Brown (MISS): Transfered

2010: 0 of 1
De’Andre Johsnon (MISS): Transfered

2011: To Be Determined
Torrey Campbell: TBD
Jake Rudock: TBD

2012: To Be Determined
Damantas Venckus: TBD
Greeg Mabin: TBD

Since Bret Bielema left and up to the departure of De’Andre Johnson, we are talking 11 players from Florida and 10 misses with four still to be determined.

Ouch. Freaking Ouch.

In looking at this list, what Johnson said on Tuesday makes perfect sense. Iowa has no business spending money and resources recruiting in a state where it is getting that type of ‘return’ on investment.

Of course that is a bit in jest; other schools are finding and developing talent. Bielema kept doing it at Wisconsin and as you can see by this chart, others are still spending time in Florida albeit to mixed results on the field.

Iowa needs to either find the right person or people to recruit Florida or stop doing it. It appears for now they are choosing the latter route.

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  • sad

  • seepig

    Could it be our recruiting? The coaches!? Since Texas is farther than 6-8 hours are we going to give up on Texas too? I’m really sick of the excuses with this bunch.

  • I’m disappointed in this article for two reasons:

    1. The content is true – we’ve failed in FLA since Bielema left (clearly Bielema knows what he’s doing – success at Wisconsin amped up when he became HC)

    2. The spelling is atrocious. “Transfered” spelled wrong 14 times (it’s “transferred”). That’s an easy word, but then there are the names: “Greeg Maybin” (Greg), “Damantas Venckus” (Daumantas), “De’Andre Johsnon” (Johnson).

    You should be doing better than this! Simple copy editing – paste into Microsoft Word and run a spell check!!

    • However, as discussed on point 1 – the content is well-done and analyzed nicely. We haven’t had great success without Bielema (a guy I sorely wish Iowa would’ve tried to hire before this last contract Ferentz duped Barta into giving).

      next article: why Barta is the worst negotiator in D1 athletics…

      • KDH

        I agree!!! What was Barta thinking! I like Kirk and the way he runs the program for the players, winning must come first when possible. 3.4 million, who could we get? Maybe it is time for a change!!!

  • Shawn

    Not so sure ragging on the guy for misspelled words is a productive thing to do. Seems a bit immature in my opinion. Anyway, one has to ask just why so many Florida players have transferred out. I realize weather is a factor but there seems to be other cold weather schools that have Florida kids that stay 4 or 5 years. I wonder if there’s something amiss with the Iowa coaching staff.

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