Transfer implications reach football

Hawkeye+freshmen+Joshua+Jackson+cheers+as+the+team+takes+the+field+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+19%2C+2015.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Pittsburgh+Panthers+27-24+on+a+last+second+field+goal.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FSergio+Flores%29

Hawkeye freshmen Joshua Jackson cheers as the team takes the field on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. The Hawkeyes defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 27-24 on a last second field goal. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

 

There are always reverberations when players transfer.

Sometimes, they are immediate and obvious (e.g., Jake Rudock to Michigan), while other times, they are subtle. Senior Maurice Fleming’s announcement Tuesday of his intent to use his graduate-transfer option is of the second type.

Defensive coordinator Phil Parker noted during Wednesday’s media availability he had a conversation regarding playing time with Fleming in January. It came down to if Fleming didn’t crack the starting lineup, he was going to find somewhere else to play.

“His goal was to be a starter. That was very important for him to do … to be on regular downs,” Parker said. “He saw where he was on the depth chart, and he wasn’t going to break it right now.”

The long-term effect of the decision is depth, because corners Josh Jackson and Greg Mabin are both nursing injuries. While Fleming’s absence from the starters in this situation is telling of where the coaches think his ability is at, anything could happen a few months down the road.

There was also no doubt Fleming was going to play. He was an important part of the special-team units and got significant time last season in Iowa’s nickel package, registering 5 pass breakups.

Now, it seems sophomore Jackson and redshirt freshman Michael Ojemudia will be the backups. Jackson looked very good at the West Des Moines Valley practice, and Ojemudia was listed as the backup at both corner positions in the first spring depth chart.

“Josh has played a little bit, even though he had his surgery earlier in January. But he’s been out there, and we just have no contact with him, and we’re excited about where he can go,” Parker said. “OJ has done a great job where he’s at, but he still has some growing pains to go through, too.”

Beathard ‘getting there’

Iowa starting quarterback C.J. Beathard played in nearly every game last season and hobbled to some extent and had sports-hernia surgery in January.

Despite the physical limitations, Beathard was still able to rush for 237 yards and 6 touchdowns. His ability as a ball carrier is valuable to the offense, opening up a whole extra section of the playbook. He also showed a capacity to throw on the run, another valuable and rare skill.

Beathard is still recovering from the surgery and as expected, still isn’t at 100 percent.

RELATED: Football scores major recruit

“We haven’t done a bunch of quarterback draws with him this spring, and we haven’t done a bunch of movement throws with him,” Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis said. “I’ve almost forgot what he looks like healthy because he was hampered the entire year last year, but he’ll be fine.”

Jewell as valuable as they come

Parker had plenty of praise for starting middle linebacker — and permanent team captain — Josey Jewell.

He led the team in tackles (with 7.5 going for a loss) and also had 4 interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. The coaches think extremely highly of him, and he personifies the culture Parker wants his defense to have.

Facebook Comments