Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz sees the offensive line coming together, and freshman guard Sean Welsh is fitting in nicely.
There were some doubts about Welsh, who is 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, being able to maintain his starting spot.
“I think Sean Welsh has kind of risen above,” Ferentz said. “He’s clearly our fifth guy, but he also has ground to make up.
“We watched him during the course of spring improve, and when you do something for 15 days, pictures sometimes become clearer. I think he’s on the right path. I think he’ll make it, (but) he’s got work to do before we open up the end of August.”
A new sound: The defense didn’t just look different this spring with three new starting linebackers.
It also sounded different.
“We don’t have James Morris back there just yelling at us constantly,” defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat said. “You’ve got a couple other voices, which is still a little weird.
“But I’m getting used to it.”
Senior linebacker Quinton Alston is one of those new voices in the starting lineup.
“Morris and (Anthony) Hitchens have a little bit higher voice than I have,” Alston explained. “I try to go out there and have that deep voice, and make sure everybody is on the same page.”
Responsibility up front: Louis Trinca-Pasat saw limited duty on Iowa’s defensive line two seasons ago. That line was depth-challenged, and one reason why the team finished just 4-8 in 2012.
Iowa’s defensive line is now a strength of a team coming off an 8-5 season. Trinca-Pasat, a starting tackle, said the turnaround was nice. But the senior-to-be wants more.
“I think we’re more experienced,” Trinca-Pasat said. “We’ve still got work to do, but we’re a little more confident. We’ve still got another season to go. Collectively, we’ve got to keep getting better.”
Like the defensive line two seasons ago, it’s now the linebackers who will be short on experience next season.
“It’s up to the defensive line to make their jobs easier,” Trinca-Pasat said.
Parker memorial service: The University of Iowa will be holding a Norm Parker Celebration of Life service on May 31 at Kinnick Stadium.
The service, which is open to the public, will be from 1-3 p.m. in the south end zone of Kinnick Stadium. Attendees will enter the stadium through Gate B (southwest corner).
Parker, who died on Jan. 13, joined the Iowa program prior to the 1999 season, serving as defensive coordinator for 13 seasons. He served in the coaching profession for 48 years.
Following the 2011 season, Parker was named assistant coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Under Parker’s direction, Iowa ranked among the top 10 nationally in rushing defense five times. Iowa ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense three times from 2008-11.
The Hawkeyes were bowl-eligible 11 straight seasons (2001-11) and ranked in the final top 10 of both major polls four times with Parker directing the Iowa defense.
Parker was a native of Hazel Park, Mich., and earned two degrees from Eastern Michigan University.
In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in the Paul W. Brechler Press Box at Kinnick Stadium.
The Register’s Rick Brown contributed to this report.