Defensive lineman Drew Ott already had gained some hair-related prominence for his impressive beard a season ago and the “Fear the Beard” T-shirts that followed suit.
On Saturday, the beard was trimmed to a more manageable length.
That doesn’t mean Ott has surrendered his pursuit of singular team-grooming status. He’s grown a healthy mullet and has no plans of slowing the growth this season.
“I’ve been working on it for a year now. We’re getting there, day by day,” Ott said. “I catch some comments every once in a while. I’m not too gifted in the hair department, but I’m sticking with it.”
The decision has gained the support of backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, whose long, flowing hair has provided some mane prestige of his own.
“I’m all for it,” Beathard said. “He used to have the long beard, then he said he wanted the mullet. So he’s following through. I’m kind of impressed.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz tried to remain more diplomatic: “Drew is a man of many looks.”
TIGHT END TALENT: Many teams would struggle to recover from the loss of a tight end like C.J. Fiedorowicz, who is expected to be picked in the next NFL Draft.
Iowa, though, remains deep at the position with letterwinners Ray Hamilton, Jake Duzey, Henry Krieger Coble and George Kittle.
Ferentz said Hamilton, a senior, could be the one to keep an eye on.
“Ray’s probably been one of those underappreciated guys, in some ways — even by us at times,” Ferentz said. “He made a lot of clutch plays during the season, he makes them during practice. He’s a pretty good all-around tight end in our opinion.”
— Bryce Miller
RUSHERS GET A LOOK: Coaches gave their top running backs limited reps Saturday, for obvious reasons.
“We’re trying to really look at the younger guys,” coach Kirk Ferentz said.
One of those is Barkley Hill, a redshirt sophomore from Denver, Ia.
“I thought Barkley did a good job,” Ferentz said. “He’s done a good job this spring and I thought he had a really good day today. I didn’t see him miss anything.”
LeShun Daniels Jr. was also given plenty of carries.
“We want to keep pushing LeShun along,” Ferentz said. “He’s a better player now than he was in the fall. He’s climbing the ladder.”
SHIMONEK UPDATE: Freshman quarterback Nic Shimonek made a solid showing Saturday. He’s poised and possesses a strong arm.
“This is the most work he’s gotten,” Ferentz said. “He’s getting a little bit bigger. He’s got enough tools, so it’s just a matter now of moving him forward.”
MISSING TIME: Junior receiver Jacob Hillyer did not participate in practice because of a minor leg injury. … Defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat was excused for a family matter. … Receiver Blake Haluska is out with an injury. … Running back Jonathan Parker was attending a funeral.
— Andrew Logue
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football