A CLOSER LOOK AT IOWA’S QUARTERBACKS
The Depth Chart
No. 1 — Jake Rudock, so., 6-3, 205; No. 2 — C.J. Beathard, #fr., 6-2, 195; Cody Sokol, jr., 6-2, 215; No. 4 — Nic Shimonek, fr., 6-4, 196 (# = redshirt freshman)
Right now, with about two weeks left before Iowa kicks off against Northern Illinois, Jake Rudock appears to have created some distance. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis has said all three have similar skill sets. They can make plays with their feet. They have decent arms. They’re smart. They also have no experience. Here’s the comment that sheds a little light on “why Rudock?” “Jake is extremely bright, very bright. He’s getting us into the right plays, making the right decisions,” Davis said. Given the 2012 performance and the caliber of season opener (NIU played in the Orange Bowl last year and is a “receiving votes” type team), Iowa can’t afford to live with mistakes while a QB learns. Still, it might have to no matter who the QB is.
The No. 2
The big question is how much rope Rudock — or whomever — gets as the No. 1? Iowa’s passing offense produced seven TD passes last season. It was out of gear most of the year. On the outside of the program, patience is running low. That’s never mattered to coach Kirk Ferentz. This goes two ways: 1) Rudock — or whomever — sticks and learns from the good and the bad. Or 2) the trigger finger is itchy because the competition is just that close or because Iowa needs to win. We probably won’t know whether it’s No. 1 or No. 2 until we see it actually happen. So, this probably isn’t over.
One thing that was clear on media day, C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol aren’t out there killing themselves over every mistake.
“I would say I do take chances. I just try to make plays more than anything,” Sokol said.
Meanwhile, Davis compared Beathard to a 3-point shooter who just keeps shooting.
Freshman quarterback Nic Shimonek comes to Iowa City fresh off a fantastic performance in the 79th annual Texas High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game on July 31. He completed 8 of 9 passes for 172 yards and a 69-yard TD. He also scored on a 9-yard TD run. Shimonek passed for 2,714 yards and 33 touchdowns with just six interceptions while leading Mildred High School to the Texas Class 2-A Division II state championship game.
Shimonek is the only true freshman in the group, but in reality, all four of them fit the “noob” category. For the first time since the Indiana game in 2000, Iowa will start a QB who’s never thrown a pass in a game.
So, technically, this is a group of noobs as far as Iowa and Big Ten football go.
– Marc Morehouse