Yes, Iowa coaches probably should look into getting senior safety Jordan Bernstine on the field.
In his first extensive action maybe ever, Bernstine popped off the page in Iowa’s opening victory over Tennessee Tech. Despite not making the start, the fifth-year senior ended last week with eight tackles and a half tackle for loss.
Also, he was a surprise winner of the kick return slot opposite wide receiver Keenan Davis coming out of camp. He showed why on the game’s first kick, going 38 yards and nearly breaking for a touchdown.
After four years of injuries, including a gruesome broken ankle before 2009, Bernstine showed what people have been missing.
“Two guys that looked to me from the sidelines who were going a little different tempo than everybody else were [running back Mika'il] McCall and Bernstine,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I thought those guys had it going pretty good on Saturday.”
Bernstine is beyond just feeling good about being out there. He wants to leave a mark in his final season.
“I felt good,” Bernstine said. “I was there for the kickoff return and after that I was feeling all right. And then when I got in on defense and made the first tackle, it’s something I love doing, been doing it for years.”
Junior Collin Sleeper is listed as the starter at strong safety. Ferentz said both will play, so, no, not really a strong safety controversy going on here.
“We’re not disappointed with Collin, either,” Ferentz said. “I think it’s developing into a situation where we’ve got a little depth, which is good. We don’t have many of those on our team.”
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