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Iowa football: Ferentz weighs change in recruiting strategy

[ 0 ] November 13, 2012 |

Iowa City, Ia. — A swifter pace of recruiting throughout the country has Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz thinking about possibly changing staff assignments.

Ferentz said during Tuesday’s press conference that he will consider having a staff member dedicated only to recruiting. Now that job falls on Eric Johnson, who also helps coach the Hawkeyes’ defensive line.

“Not right now, but two years from now, if it looks like it’s the best thing — then the door’s not shut on that,” Ferentz said.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has at least 15 players verbally committed for the 2013 recruiting class. They will sign national letters of intent in February. (Charlie Litchfield / Register photo)

Iowa has at least 15 players verbally committed for the 2013 recruiting class. They will sign national letters of intent in February.

Eighteen of the 22 players in the 2002 class committed to Iowa between late November 2001 and the signing date.

“Certainly (recruiting intensity) has increased because of the nature of the way things are,” Ferentz said. “That individual has to have more freedom to leave a staff room and attend to things. The way it’s accelerated has made it a big challenge.”

Five Big Ten Conference schools have one staff member dedicated to recruiting – Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin and Penn State.

Iowa someday could join that list.

“Things have changed so much in just five years, even three years, maybe two years,” Ferentz said. “I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Ferentz’s immediate mindset is on how to get his team out of a four-game losing streak, and the first crack at that is Saturday’s 11 a.m. game at 23rd-ranked Michigan.

His 4-6 team must not only upset the Wolverines before 110,000 fans at Michigan Stadium, but also must upset 16th-ranked Nebraska in Kinnick Stadium on Nov. 23 just to be in bowl conversation.

“We could win two, we could split them, or we could lose two,” Ferentz said. “Those are the only three possibilities right now.

“There’s no fear of it, but that’s a reality of it.”

Injury is likely to keep top rusher Mark Weisman sidelined. Fullback Brad Rogers, who has missed recent games due to injuries, might be healthy enough to play on some special teams.

“We’re probably about where we were on Saturday,” Ferentz said. “We’ll see how the week plays out.”

Linebackers James Morris and Anthony Hitchens were on the sidelines with undisclosed injuries most of the fourth quarter during last Saturday’s 27-24 loss against Purdue. Defensive end Joe Gaglione played only sparingly; he was sick.

“They said the vomiting has stopped, so that’s obviously a good thing,” Ferentz said. “Hopefully it doesn’t come back, and hopefully he didn’t spread it to somebody else.”

Transcript: Kirk Ferentz’s press conference on Tuesday

The Hawkeyes opened the season with depth problems at some positions, and that’s part of the reason the slide.

“At least my wife was still talking to me the last time I saw her, and I saw her (Monday) night,” Ferentz said. “She’s still talking to me. Life goes on. You have to push through it.

“It’s more fun when you’re riding in a parade, but we’re not right now and that’s the way it goes.

“Whether you’re doing well or bad, you have to try to keep your focus where it needs to be.”

Video: Steve Bigach and James Ferentz talk about Michigan

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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