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Quarterback front-runner unofficially emerges at Saturday scrimmage

[ 0 ] August 17, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The official announcement regarding Iowa’s starting quarterback won’t come for a few days.

But anyone who watched Saturday’s open practice at Kinnick Stadium will tell you that Jake Rudock is the man.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Weston, Fla., took every snap with the Hawkeye starters, while C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol worked with the reserves.

“We’ll look at the tapes, talk a little bit tomorrow, the next couple days,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We’ll probably make some decisions this week.”

Speculation about the quarterback position began immediately following a 4-8 season last fall.

Rudock gained front-runner status after serving as the backup to James Vandenberg, but Saturday seemed to mark a clear separation.

He led Iowa’s No. 1 offense to a field goal and touchdown while competing against the Hawkeyes’ top defense.

“You have to lead as if you’re the only one in there,” Rudock said. “That’s just how it is, because it is a one-man position.”

Rudock took a pass on any questions about his status.

“That’s for coach Ferentz,” he said. “I can’t really speculate on that. I’m just trying to play football.”

Rudock’s performance was spotty.

He showed poise, but the timing was off. He showed some mobility, but there were times Rudock was forced to elude pressure.

“You always want some things back,” Rudock said. “Even if you complete them all, you want that one back that maybe could have been a little longer.”

Going against the defensive starters would seem to be good preparation for the Aug. 31 opener against Northern Illinois.

“It’s camp. They know some of our stuff. We know some of their stuff,” Rudock said. “But it doesn’t matter. Guys are going to line up and come hard.

“You’ve got to be ready to go.”

Rudock ended on a positive, guiding the offense downfield and throwing a 23-yard scoring strike to Jordan Cotton.

“That’s huge,” he said. “You always want to go out with a bang.

“We still have another week of camp, and then a game-week prep. So, getting that last touchdown was good, but we need to keep working.”

Ferentz played coy, praising all three quarterbacks but stopping just short of declaring a favorite.

If for some reason Rudock is not named the starter, there will be plenty of head-scratching.

If he is given the job, it’s only a first step in Iowa’s return to respectability.

Remember, none of Iowa’s quarterback has taken a snap for the Hawkeyes.

“If it comes down that I got it, that’s great,” Rudock said. “But if I get satisfied, that’s not going to cut it.

“That’s not what our team needs.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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