IOWA CITY, Ia. – Pulling out another "anything's possible," Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said he remained hopeful that recently-named starting quarterback C.J. Beathard sticks with the program into the 2015 season.
"I hope so. We've had a conversation," Ferentz said during his annual National Signing Day news conference. "He's back here training, working out. He's got a great attitude. But at the same time, too, I'm realistic about it. I realize anything's possible."
The news media and message boards got a lot of mileage when Ferentz said "anything's possible" during his pre-bowl radio show in response to whether Beathard would open the TaxSlayer Bowl under center instead of Jake Rudock, who has started every time he's been healthy in the last two seasons (25 of 26 games).
Rudock did end up starting vs. Tennessee, but Ferentz named Beathard – the subject of transfer rumors, fueled by his father, Casey – the starting quarterback in a 2015 depth chart released six days after the 45-28 loss.
Beathard has two years of eligibility remaining at Iowa, Rudock has one.
"We'll just have to wait and see how it plays out," Ferentz said of Beathard's status. "But he's been working and working hard."
As for Rudock?
"Yep, same deal," Ferentz said.
Changes on deck? Ferentz said with signing day completed, his next step would be whether to shift some of his assistant coaches into new roles.
He said a few weeks ago that he was considering changes in his staff and gave a vote of confidence to offensive coordinator Greg Davis, calling him "a tremendous football coach."
"There might be some changes in seats. I don't expect changes in faces," Ferentz said. "We'll see how things pan out."
Linebacker U: Iowa signed four linebackers in its Class of 2015, and Ferentz raved about the incoming group that includes Angelo Garbutt, Jack Hockaday, Justin Jinning and Nick Wilson.
With Iowa lean at linebacker – the 2015 two-deep has sophomores-to-be Ben Niemann, Josey Jewell and Bo Bower as the starters – there's an opportunity for the new guys to play right away.
"Maybe half of them will contribute next year," Ferentz said. "Hopefully that can materialize."