Ferentz radio: Spearman working as WLB

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March 28, 2014 | 8:57 pm

Minnesota radio guy Mike Grimm is dropping some mad Gophers knowledge. (Mike's a great guy. Some of you will remember him from his CR radio days.)

-- Mike calls David Cobb the more shifty of the two backs, talking about Rodrick Williams as the other back. Mike said Williams and Donnell Kirkwood are a lot alike. Short, stubby, powerful.

-- Talking NT Ra'Shede Hageman. He's soaking up double-teams, but still has caused disruption. He was recruited for hoops by some schools. Came in as a TE. Put muscles on and played DE and then eventually moved him inside. UM flips him and gets him out on the edge as a DE. He's got the quicks and can bullrush. They've lined him up at DE for a few series the last couple of weeks. I don't see that Saturday. I think UM will like the matchup inside.

-- The secondary has been solid. The LBs, a couple of jucos in there, have been solid, Grimm said.

-- Key plays downfield. Remember last year's flea flicker. Stacked lines of scrimmage will open up the secondary. Who can get it, Mike G asks?

Good hearing the Manchester native.

-- Mike from DBQ liked C.J. Beathard. Dolph talks about his decision-making lacking. Dolph has seen more practice than you.

Mike also wants to know about DT Jaleel Johnson (he played last week, he's fine) and DE Riley McMinn, who's been out with a shoulder injury. McMinn has been out since mid-August. Mike also wants to know about Reggie Spearman.

-- Rick from Sioux City. He wants more highlights on the TV show with Kirk Ferentz. He said there are just three minutes.

Rick also wants to know about Damond Powell. Dolph said he needed 13 credits to be eligible at Iowa. Said he arrived a week before school started. He arrived about a week before camp started in early August.

-- Tommy is calling in. Asks about hoops recruit. He doesn't want to see just run. He wants to see a little bit of everything. He's followed Iowa since 1956. He's seen some greats. He wants everything Iowa's got. His thing is this: If someone something give him a reason he shouldn't be playing. Sorry, I couldn't make that out. Dolph is not acknowledging going right into reading an ad.

That's one way to blow off Tommy.

-- KF sits down. Begins talking.

-- Dolph asks about Big Ten football. He said it kind of like that, too.

KF: Never quite sure (he's right). With conference play, playing for something in the conference and within divisions. Different races exist. Adds to the interest.

-- Minny at the end, but now out of the gate.

KF: It's happened last couple of years. In the '80s, it was in October, too. Hard-fought series. Trophy, pride, important to both teams.

-- Jim said it was nice to see the reserves, including CJB. It's good to play the reserves. That's his take. Jim did say he knew he was stating the obvious.

KF: Great to have that opportunity. Haven't had it often enough recently. Anytime it happens, it means a lot to the players. One of the best things about Saturday. Defense got short-changed, though. Might see them during the season. Every bit of experience is positive.

-- Early caller cleanup:

KF on Jaleel: Working on foot work and reads.

Spearman: Made decision to play him. Went back and forth. Can boost special teams and might end up playing some this year. Can't get guys too ready. Really high on both.

On McMinn: Frustrating. Injury reaggravates itself. Similar to Scherff. It nags. Shoulder. McMinn will sit the next two weeks, getting to the idle week.

Mike Hardy doing well. Darian Cooper doing well. Need all six DL.

On Alston and Collins: Marcus had best day on kick team. Aggressive player. Perry doing a good job on special teams.

-- Jerry from Waukee: Wants to talk kicker Mike Meyer. His practice schedule.

KF: Kickers have a unique existence, kind of like pitchers in baseball. Not the same schedule. They're there for meetings. They have a long day. Good at playing cards, have to kill time. Work independently on the field. A couple of kicking periods in practice. In-tune, routinized. Don't want to over do it. They chart kicks per day. Highly organized. Making sure they stay fresh.

On Chris White, ST coach: Hire people and what they believe in is what they're hiring. What are your plans? Impressive young coach. Like what he presented and that's what they've gone with. Added to his resume through the years. Kids have bought in. LeVar Woods and Kelvin Bell also coach special teams.

-- 18 plays, 63 yards and more than 9 minutes burned off on the final drive last week. (I didn't know that. KF said they haven't done that against air in practice. Joking, obviously. I think Iowa would whup air's butt.)

-- Troy from Urbandale wants to know about touchback rule, coming out to the 25. Good question. Who has better Belichick stories, KF or Brian F? KF says BF.

On touchbacks: Depends on weather. Anytime make other team start inside own 20, that's an advantage. Is an exciting play, but trying to minimize returns.

-- Davis in West Des Moines: Wondering if KF could comment on LBs and recruiting.

On LBs: Happiest with the way they've practiced since last year. It's shown up on field. All three playing at a higher level than a year ago. Leadership position. All three seniors wired in. Morris and Kirksey are captains, but Hitchens is right there. Behind them: Alston, Perry, Spearman, Cole Fisher and Travis Perry. Working hard on it in recruiting. Want three good LB prospects.

-- Lines are open.

-- Text question: Lyle from 712 wants to know about other coaches in recruiting. All four GAs doing a good job (GAs have to take class). DJ Hernandez has one master's and is working on another. Austin Showalter from Xavier in CR. Chris Polizzi works with secondary. Kelvin Bell helps special teams and works in crootin. Interned with Vikings. Hernandez with Pats. KF didn't go to class as a GA. It was two GAs when he got back to Iowa. Now it's four.

Hours? Those guys are there all the time and have great attitudes. They work hard. It's a tough job. That's how you learn, that's how you get into the business.

-- Justin from Norwalk: Reggie Spearman blowing up LT Brandon Scherff. Shot at seeing RS at DE?

KF: Not saying it didn't happen, but I don't remember it (the Scherff thing, it didn't happen). Spearman working at the Will LB position. Had some good plays in practice, but not Scherff. He holds his own pretty good. Both good players.

-- Four true frosh: KF said they're where they want to be. Wants to cap it.

-- Jasmine from 319 wants to know No. 2 WR: KMM most experienced. TEs as a group, good job. Hillyer and Tevaun and Powell. Growing every week.

On Powell: He's done a nice job of learning, improving. More room to grow. Going to need help from everybody and people just can't focus on one area.

-- Craig from Sioux City wants to know where Bullock and Canzeri carries are: They like both. Canzeri confidence returning. Trying to do what's best for team. It was good to sit Weisman last week. Going to do what it takes to win. Bullock has been good the last two weeks. Trying to keep Weisman fresh.

Weisman still No. 1 in the nation in rush attempts.

Dolph calls him "big horse."

-- KF talking Hageman: Starts there for Minny. Play an even front. Two guys over guards (where Iowa has a deficit compared to last year).

On Minny rush vs. Iowa rush, includes pass: Best back hasn't played that much. Other two backs production. Leidner had a "million" yards. OL is big and physical. No secret. Different style than when Mason was there. Threaten Iowa deep off the play-action.

That's a wrap. Have a good evening.

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