Kirk on the Side

Coach Ferentz talks about recruiting and media critics in this On the Side conversation

Q: Are you going to be dressed uniquely this weekend (Iowa wearing combat uniforms)?

Kirk Ferentz: No. I will be dressed in normal game day battle regalia. I will not be in fatigues.

Q: Between you and Hayden, you set the fan expectation bar high around here. What do you tell fans now about the future of Iowa football, looking at where the program is now?

Ferentz: I think we have the greatest fans in the world. I am appreciative of that. I appreciate their support. It has been fantastic. I appreciate good things in life.

Q: What do you tell them about the future of program?

Ferentz: I am optimistic. We are going to continue to work hard, that is what we have tried to do for 13-plus years.

Q: Are you looking at a quarterback for the 2013 class? I know you have one verbal commitment there already.

Ferentz: As I said earlier, we have a few scholarships left and will try to do the most intelligent thing we can. It's like the draft, too. You try to get the three or four or five or two best players available. You try to help the team, but it's ongoing.

Q: ?The recruiting commitment cycle has sped up. Greg Davis comes from Texas where they always had a lot of commitments by August. Is this something he influenced here?

Ferentz: No, it's national as far as I can tell. I haven't gone back and looked at things recently, but my guess is now if you don't have at least 10 or 12 guys committed, you are a total failure as a program. That doesn't mean you are getting the 10 or 12 best guys. That is the danger of it. If you think historically about some of the players we have had, there is no way they would have been offered prior to their senior years. I am trying to be mindful of that, but at the same time....I am really pleased with the guys that seem to be engaged with us right now. The whole process has sped up. Coincidental with everything else that has happened.

Q: Trying to think of guys you discovered senior years...

Ferentz: Stanzi, Vandenberg, Chad Greenway was't a big recruit. Bob Sanders, Hinkel, right down the line. Bullock was late January.

Q: Do you feel like you could be missing out on some players like that?

Ferentz: I am worried about that, yes, absolutely. Brandon Meyers, Miller, go right down the list. There is a balance there. I am not sure I know the formula.

Q: Are you still thinking high teens on the total commitments for this class?

Ferentz: Yeah, I think that is what we are looking at.

Q: The Uniform thing, this was Federicci's idea?

Ferentz: Idea guys..I am not an idea guy. Clearly it wasn't me. Fed was the driving force behind it.

Q: Did they have to talk you in to it?

Ferentz: Not necessarily. I know this is Veterans Weekend. My only question on the whole thing was whatever we do, I don't want to offend anyone in the military. So we checked with people who have expertise in all of the branches and wanted to make sure everyone thought it was a good idea. I think it is really a nice way to honor a special group of people. you know I am hardly on the ground level, but a good friend of mine is really involved with the homeless veteran issue. There are no politics involved in that, it's all about what is right and what is wrong. Any recognition we can give to the vets...today is a great example. We all have the right to go vote and you can't say that about a lot of places. If we are doing something positive that is a great thing.

Q: You don't respond to your critics in the media at press conferences like this or in other public forums. Many of your colleagues choose to do that. Why don't you?

Ferentz: It comes with the territory. That is how I look at it. It's part of my job. I don't mind it when you guys are telling me I did a great job (grunt). I try not to respond to that either, so it's the same when it goes the other way. It' sa part of the job.

Q: That is one area where you don't emulate Hayden Fry.

Ferentz: I can never be Coach Fry. Never. I knew that coming in. I just have to be who I am and what I am comfortable doing. At the end of the day what I need to be investing my attention and energy in is our program and what is best for our players.

Q: Hayden had his methods...

Ferentz: Oh yeah. I was thoroughly entertained during my nine years. He carried that into our room every now and then. ‘Don't be mad at us'.

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