Brian Ferentz has only been Iowa’s offensive coordinator for a few months, but it’s safe to say he isn’t in a rush to make any friends in the B1G West.
Ferentz, who became Iowa’s offensive coordinator after he spent five seasons as the team’s offensive line coach, didn’t mince words when he discussed the regional recruiting battle on “Hawk Central” on 1460 AM in Des Moines.
He got into the subject of Iowa State and Minnesota — he addressed them by their cities — throwing out early offers to recruits.
“What has sped things up in our state especially is the guys in Ames and the new guys in Minneapolis seem to have no problem throwing early things out,” Ferentz said. “What I’ve learned, certainly about the guys in Ames, and I think we’ll find this about the guys in Minneapolis, ‘What does an offer really mean?’
“I can tell you this much. If the University of Iowa offers you a scholarship and you commit to us, we intend to sign you and we intend to take your commitment. I think you have to look no further than in-state. There’s a lot of offers that went out in the 2018 class very early out of Ames. And I’m not sure all of those guys were able to commit to them if they wanted to because some of those guys have since gone other places.”
Ferentz talked about how Iowa got “some flack” for not throwing out early offers like other teams in the region. He said that was simply the result of not knowing if a certain recruit was the right fit.
He also got into area programs promising recruits “hope” and that was just a line used by coaching staffs that hadn’t had any real success before. That transitioned into a discussion about schools bragging about their NFL draft numbers.
A school “a little bit west of Omaha” was referenced.
“You watch the draft and it always amazes me all the guys that ‘congratulations to so-and-so’ and they never even coached the guy. They didn’t develop him but they’re quick to take credit for it,” Ferentz said. “We recruit against a couple schools that talk about their pipeline. I’m thinking of one a little bit west of Omaha that talks about their pipeline and I think they’ve had like two guys drafted in two years. So I’m not sure how much of the pipeline the coaches have contributed to.
“But perception is reality in recruiting, so you work against that a little bit. But once we get kids on campus and we can explain to them that here are the facts, and the bottom line is, anybody that you see in this sheet or this graphic or whatever it is, whether it’s a graduation number or whether it’s the NFL number, you’re going back to 1999.
“Our head coach has recruited, coached and had a direct influence on every one of those guys. And no one else in our conference can say that.”
Nebraska did continue its streak of 55 consecutive years in which it had a player drafted, which was what Ferentz referenced. As anyone would, the Huskers tweeted about it.
The #ProBigRed brotherhood keeps getting bigger.
One of five schools with a pick in every draft since 1963.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) April 29, 2017
The Huskers only had one player selected — Nebraska’s 54-year streak of multiple players drafted ended — but that was after it had four players picked in 2016. Ironically enough, Iowa and Nebraska both had five players drafted in the last two years.
Ferentz was correct, however, in saying that Iowa is the only program with a head coach who has been there since 1999. His dad, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, is tied with Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops as the longest tenured coaches in FBS.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that shade-throwing is in midseason form.