Iowa football media day notebook: Injuries, move-in dates, and pranks

BY DANNY PAYNE | AUGUST 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa football media day took place in Iowa City on Monday. The Daily Iowan will provide more in-depth coverage of both the offense and defense throughout the week, but the following are a few brief stories and notes that stuck out before practice began Monday evening.

Move-in date set

There has been much talk about Iowa upgrading its football facilities with the addition of the Football Operations Center. Assuming all follows the plan, the Hawkeyes will move into the facility during their first bye week, which is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said the move will be somewhat chaotic, so the team will wait rather than doing it during a game week.

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“Our team has to be flexible that way and make that adjustment,” he said. “It’s like anything; it just comes down to how you approach it, what your attitude is, and we can get our work done this week and be where we need to be Saturday, and the move will be the same way.”

The facility will house a display area for the program’s accomplishments as well as a room honoring all of Iowa’s consensus All-Americans.

The 76,000-square-foot facility will also feature improved strength and conditioning training areas as well as new locker rooms and meeting rooms. There also will be coaches’ offices, staff offices, athletic training facilities, and an equipment room.

Increased meals a score for Iowa players

In addition to the perks of the new football building, players will also reap the benefits of unlimited meals and snacks throughout the season.

The rule change allows walk-on athletes on each of Iowa’s athletics teams to have the meal options in addition to those on scholarship. Previously, scholarship athletes were the only ones given meals.

“I don’t know how that’s going to work during the season, but I’m sure that’s going to be better,” defensive lineman Carl Davis said. “Especially the underweight guys — I’m not an underweight guy, so I probably need to stay away from that stuff, honestly — but I think it’s great.

“The NCAA, it’s doing a good job pushing for it and aiding student-athletes.”

Powell injury update

Ferentz announced at Big Ten media days last week that wide receiver Damond Powell suffered a hernia and had surgery during the summer.

The 16th-year head coach said the worst-case scenario has Powell returning for Big Ten play, which will begin Sept. 27 at Purdue.

After transferring to Iowa from junior college, Powell caught 12 passes for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns last season. The Toledo, Ohio, native’s longest grab came at Minnesota, a 74-yard score on a tunnel screen.

Ferentz said Powell would miss most of camp, but the senior said Monday he hopes to be on the field when Iowa kicks off Aug. 30 against Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

Locker room goofiness

Media days can get somewhat chaotic. It’s a time where almost every outlet that covers the team is fighting for time with a player or coach — all of whom are normally scattered.

It’s also a time to tell which players have colorful personalities and aren’t afraid to expose them.

Iowa running back Damon Bullock is one of those people. During an interview, teammates Derrick Mitchell Jr. and Malik Rucker were busting out some ridiculous dance moves designed to make Bullock and other teammates laugh.

“They’re trying to make jokes, but I taught them that,” Bullock said. “When we’re in the locker room, we all joke collectively; then, when we’re all out here, we try to mess each other up during our interviews.”

Bullock wouldn’t go into too much detail in terms or pranks or anything of that nature, but he did say position players are loyal to each other. The senior also said he is the funniest person on the team, along with Powell.

The least funny, according to the self-appointed comedian? Sophomore cornerback Desmond King.

“If somebody is messing with [Jordan] Canzeri, we’ll have to go and mess with whoever the wide receiver is,” Bullock said. “Or the offensive lineman — probably not going to win that battle, but we try.”

Follow @dipregame on Twitter for news, updates and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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