OL CONOR BOFFELI
Arrival: The 6-5, 290-pound junior initially committed to Iowa State, but made the switch to Iowa in January '09. ISU went through the Gene Chizik-Paul Rhoads transition and that was part of it, but mostly Boffeli, a West Des Moines Valley grad, felt more comfortable at Iowa.
He graduated Valley with something in the neighborhood of a 3.8 GPA and scored a 27 on his ACT, according to his Rivals.com profile. So, he's got it together upstairs (business major), which probably explains why he's a center and has been, for the most part, since arriving in Iowa City.
The problem with that was he committed to the Hawkeyes in '09, just a year after James Ferentz, an '08 recruit, who'll enter his third year as starter at the position this fall.
2012 Takeoff: The takeaway from Boffeli's spring is that he's a guard, at least for this season. He rotated in and out of the spring scrimmage with the first unit at both guard positions, splitting left guard with senior Matt Tobin and right with redshirt freshman Austin Blythe. Ferentz took all the snaps at center.
Boffeli didn't play any second unit. Blythe took snaps as the No. 2 center. So, maybe Blythe takes over at center next season and Boffeli grabs one of the guard spots. Or maybe Boffeli does that this season. Or maybe he rotates with either Tobin or Blythe.
Boffeli will have to impress coaches more than junior Drew Clark to win the No. 3 guard spot, you know, the first guy in for injury. The fact that Boffeli worked with the No. 1s this spring probably means that he has an edge. He probably also is the No. 3 center, after four years in the system, he likely has great knowledge of the position.You know the mantra at Iowa on the O-line, the top five will play. Does it feel as though that's been decided? Probably not. It's Boffeli's job to keep that murky and make it a tough decision.