This summer marks the 10th anniversary of an unprecedented influx of Iowa Hawkeyes to the National Football League. Seventeen players from the 2002 football team that went undefeated in the Big Ten and went to the Orange Bowl were drafted into the NFL, a pipeline that flourished under coach Kirk Ferentz.
“It’s hard to kind of fathom,” former Hawkeye linebacker Chad Greenway says, “the amount of talent that we did have on that team.”
Ferentz’s pro products from that 11-2 team included an NFL defensive player of the year (Bob Sanders), a No. 2 overall pick (Robert Gallery) and multiple Pro Bowlers. In Sunday’s Register and at DesMoinesRegister.com and HawkCentral.com, reporter Andrew Logue looks back at that magical collection of talent and – a few months removed from only one Hawkeye (Micah Hyde) being picked in the draft – examines whether Ferentz’s college-to-pro successes will continue.