Notebook: Brian Ferentz emphatic about staying

BY CODY GOODWIN | APRIL 17, 2014 5:00 AM

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Reports surfaced early in the New Year — not long after Iowa played LSU in the 2014 Outback Bowl, losing 21-14 — that Brian Ferentz, son of coach Kirk Ferentz, would leave the Hawkeyes to coach the offensive line for the Houston Texans under newly hired head coach Bill O’Brien.

One reporter, bless his heart, broached that very subject on Wednesday, during Iowa football’s weekly spring press conference. Before he could finish, though, the younger Ferentz cut him off.

“What I’ll tell you guys is this,” he said. “I’m here to talk about is the 2014 Iowa football season, and what we plan on doing … There was no need to make a public comment. I’m the offensive-line coach of the University of Iowa.”

Brian Ferentz’s comments regarding that situation sounded eerily similar to how Brandon Scherff addressed a similar issue in December, when there was a steady flow of rumors about how he might enter the 2014 NFL draft. He was a projected first-rounder, after all.

Like his coach, Scherff decided to stay. What directly led to his staying for his senior campaign could be any number of things — he said in December that he had intended on staying the whole time.

“I don’t think you can sell a guy like Brandon into coming back for his fifth year. I don’t think it’s a recruiting job,” Brian Ferentz said. “I don’t think it’s anything that the head coach or the strength coach or I said to him. I think Brandon wants to be here.”

Brian Ferentz, who will enter his third year as Iowa’s offensive-line coach, said there are a lot of things Scherff can improve upon before he heads off to the league, noting that bettering his game will not only help the Hawkeyes but help his draft stock, too.

“In my estimation, he was certainly one of the best football players in the country last year,” Brian Ferentz said. “Basically, as long as PETA or animal-rights groups don’t get involved, I think he should be pretty popular.”

Morgan speaks highly of Carl Davis

Carl Davis made plenty of strides during the 2013 season. He piled 42 tackles, 4 for a loss and 1.5 sacks.

Defensive-line coach Reese Morgan credited those strides to Davis being, at long last, consistently healthy during his junior campaign.

“I think what happened, as much as the health, was that Carl really grew up,” Morgan said. “[He] spent a lot of time a year ago studying and understanding and learning the defense, developing a lot of knowledge about it and a lot of confidence. But once he got on the field, he backed it up with action.”

Morgan, who will enter his 15th season at Iowa, said guys such as Davis will need to use their experience to help lead the defense this year, which has been taken to heart by Davis. Morgan said Davis, along with Louis Trinca-Pasat, has emerged as a leader this spring.

“We’ve got some guys up front that are different kind of leaders,” Morgan said. “But I think those are two guys right now that are showing some leadership. They’ve been identified — I think anybody that’s been on the field has earned the respect of the other guys in the room because of that.”

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