Ferentz staying put, Stanzi expected to play


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On a day when Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz made himself available to discuss the No. 9 Hawkeyes’ bowl options, the first question fired at him pertained to a coaching rumor.

Ferentz’s name has been among others linked to the head coaching vacancy at Notre Dame after the school fired former coach Charlie Weis on Monday. The 11-year head coach shot down speculation Wednesday, saying he’s content in Iowa City.

“I like it at Iowa,” Ferentz said. “I’ve had paychecks from three different places now since 1981. My first full-time job was here.

“I’m not a vagabond coach, and I like it where I’m at.”

That wasn’t the only speculative question thrown Ferentz’s way. He made mention of instructing his players not to answer any questions regarding his standing as Iowa’s coach, or the draft status of any juniors who may forego their senior years to pursue careers in the NFL.

The three Hawkeye juniors whose names have been circulating around such talk are offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, cornerback Amari Spievey, and defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

Bulaga was selected this year as the Big Ten’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Under Ferentz, only two players have left Iowa early for the NFL — tight end Dallas Clark, the first-round pick for the Indianapolis Colts in 2003, and running back Shonn Greene, a third-round draftee by the New York Jets after winning the Doak Walker Award last season.

“To me, my job is to make sure we get the information — accurate information — in front of the players,” Ferentz said. “Then it’s up to them to figure out what it is they’re looking for.”

Injury front looking better

Ferentz also addressed the team’s list of injuries, particularly on offense.

He said junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi will be able to start throwing the ball in practice this weekend and that redshirt freshman running back Adam Robinson should practice this weekend. Both are coming off ankle injuries.

“I fully anticipate him to be full speed probably next week,” Ferentz said about Stanzi, who suffered an injury in Iowa’s 17-10 loss to Northwestern on Nov. 7. “He could probably play this week. It would be a little shaky or what have you.”

Ferentz called offensive lineman Dace Richardson’s situation “the diciest.” Richardson broke a bone in his ankle during the Hawkeyes’ 15-13 win over Michigan State on Oct. 24.

However, Ferentz said6-6 senior could be at full strength after finals and was optimistic about him returning for the Hawkeyes’ bowl game.

Ferentz goes to bat for Lickliter

Switching away from football, Ferentz said he attended the men’s basketball game between Iowa and Virginia Tech at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday. He also spoke up on behalf of third-year coach Todd Lickliter, whose team currently holds a 2-5 overall mark.

Ferentz said he likes the direction Lickliter is taking his program and likened the basketball team’s situation to his first two seasons as Iowa’s head football coach, when the Hawkeyes went a combined 4-19.

“I don’t know squat about basketball, but when I watch our guys play, we’re really young right now,” Ferentz said. “The energy our guys have, we’re not that far off.

“I don’t go on those chat boards, message rooms … I don’t do that stuff. But I just hope everybody realizes it’s a process.”

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