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Iowa football: Hawks are hopeful for Norm’s return

[ 3 ] September 21, 2010 |

The arrow is pointing up for Norm Parker’s return to the Iowa football program.

Parker remains hospitalized, but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said there’s “a good chance” his defensive coordinator will be released from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics this week, and the Hawkeyes are hopeful they’ll have Parker for their Oct. 16 trip to Michigan.

“I think things are moving forward now,” Ferentz said. “A week ago, it was kind of a cloudy situation, a little bit muddled, but right now the plan is in place and it all came together Friday. They have done a lot of tests and right now I think he’s got a good chance of being released sometime this week, and with a little bit of lucky, maybe (he will be) in the office sometime next week.”

Parker, 68, has been hospitalized for more than a week while battling complications from diabetes. He has missed Iowa’s last two games.

“Getting him back for the last seven games would be a pretty good scenario, and I think it’s realistic right now based on what I’ve heard,” Ferentz said.

n DAVIS OUT: Iowa is down a linebacker after its trip to Arizona. Junior Bruce Davis suffered a knee injury while covering a kickoff in the fourth quarter and will miss the remainder of the season, Ferentz said Tuesday. Davis started Iowa’s first game of the season at the Mike linebacker position in place of senior Jeff Tarpinian. Senior Troy Johnson took Davis’ place on the depth chart and is listed as the backup to Tarpinian and Tyler Nielsen at the outside linebacker spot.

n DANIELS IMPRESSES: Junior defensive tackle Mike Daniels is showing signs of being the next member of the Iowa football program to go from being lightly recruited in high school to an impact player in college.

The Blackwood, N.J., native leads Iowa with two sacks and is tied for the lead on the team with 3½ tackles for loss.

Not bad for somebody who was ignored by virtually all the major colleges while in high school.

Daniels was driving home from an official visit to Villanova when he was contacted by the Iowa coaches and asked if he would be interested in taking an official visit.

“We liked what we saw on tape and thought he was a good football player,” Ferentz said Tuesday. “And for whatever reason he wasn’t being recruited by any BCS schools. And I think he was getting ready to go to Villanova.”

Daniels is only listed at 6-foot-1, which is considered small for a major college defensive lineman.

But the Iowa coaches looked beyond his height and saw a player they felt could help them in the trenches.

Daniels was a key reserve last season and now he is among five players on the defensive line who are considered starters.

“A lot of times that’s where you find people with the most character and some of the hungriest players, those guys who haven’t been looked at as much and have gone under the radar,” Daniels said Tuesday. “(The Iowa coaches) like to get guys with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder.”

n AN EMOTIONAL WEEKEND: The football players at Michigan State, including the older brother of Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde, had a weekend filled with mixed emotions.

There was cause to celebrate after the Spartans defeated Notre Dame in overtime Saturday night in East Lansing, Mich.

But the celebration was tempered by the news that Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio suffered a mild heart attack just hours after the game and was hospitalized Sunday morning.

“I just talked to him about the game, I didn’t really talk about Dantonio,” Micah Hyde said when asked Tuesday if he had spoken to his brother, Michigan State defensive back Marcus Hyde, since Dantonio suffered a heart attack. “I hope he is doing well.

“I talked to my mom and she was shocked about it. She didn’t know what to say.”

“(My brother) said that place was just crazy,” Micah Hyde said of Spartan Stadium. “He said they worked on the play all week. He just said they knew it was going to work and it was a crazy game.”

Dantonio was released from the hospital Tuesday and is expected to make a full recovery. However, it’s not certain when he will resume his coaching duties.

“Everybody was concerned to hear about Mark’s situation, but also very happy to learn that it sounds like everything is going to be just fine,” Ferentz said. “Mark is a great guy and a great football coach.”

Michigan State defeated Notre Dame by scoring on a touchdown pass following a fake field-goal.

Press-Citizen reporter Pat Harty contributed to this report.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andy Hamilton: University of Iowa graduate Andy Hamilton is originally from Williams, Iowa, and started at the Des Moines Register in August after 12 years at the Press-Citizen. He covers wrestling for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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