Iowa's Croston hopes to be 'half the player' his dad was
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Cole Croston is a Hawkeye legacy with unabashed respect for history.
"If I can be half the player my dad was, it would mean the world to me," Cole said.
Dave Croston started three seasons for Iowa at offensive tackle. He earned first-team all-Big Ten honors as a senior in 1986 and was selected by Green Bay in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft. Cole saw the first significant action of his college career Saturday against North Texas. When starting left offensive tackle Boone Myers was injured in the first quarter, Croston was next man in.
"When he (offensive line coach Brian Ferentz) gave me the call, I tried to keep a cool head and get in there and do my job," said Croston, a redshirt junior from Sergeant Bluff.
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Cole said his dad, who played for the late hall of fame coach Walt Fiegel at Sioux City East, doesn't like to talk about his playing career. But the two shared a special moment at Kinnick Stadium after the game.
"He was pretty excited," Cole said. "It was nice to hop in there and be able to hold my own."
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Cole came to Iowa as a walk-on with no scholarship offers. Augustana of South Dakota and Drake took a look. That was it. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was in his first year of recruiting on Hayden Fry's staff at Iowa when he went to Sioux City to take a look at Dave.
"I was underwhelmed with Dave in the recruiting process," Ferentz said.
Fiegel convinced Ferentz to offer Croston a scholarship.
"Thank goodness for Walt Fiegel," Ferentz said. "Because when Dave came in here he was just an outstanding player right from the start. He started three years, and really played well. Cole had some of the same attributes. He really had a good feel for how to play. Extremely coachable. Be careful what you try to tell him, because he tries to do it right to the "T'. But he wasn't as far as his dad was coming here, physically."
"The coaches told me what (Doyle) could do, potentially, and what he'd done in the past," Cole said. "I had all the faith in the world in Brian (Ferentz). He's a great coach. And coach Kirk does a great job, especially with offensive tackles. I just wanted to be one of those guys. I wanted to prove to other people I belonged here."
Cole, who wears the same uniform number (64) his dad did, said Sunday's film session from the North Texas game went better than expected.
"I came off the field thinking, "Yikes,' " Cole said. "But it wasn't as bad as I thought. So that was nice."
Ferentz coached the father, and now the son.
"Certainly based on Saturday, he did a real nice job," Ferentz said. "It's a real credit to him and his hard work. It's a really nice thing to see."