Iowa takeaways: Ferentz on Reid departure, depth chart
There will be at least one change to the coaching staff for the Iowa football team entering the 2016 season.
Linebackers coach Jim Reid left the program this week to become the defensive coordinator at Boston College. The official announcement was made early Thursday.
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz complimented Reid — who's been coaching either at the collegiate level or in the NFL for 40-plus years — on his three years with the Hawkeyes, while also saying the search is underway for Reid's replacement. Current Iowa tight ends coach LeVar Woods, who coached linebackers from 2012-14, is an internal possibility.
"As you might imagine, I have a couple ideas in my mind," Ferentz said. "There's no pressure to make a decision right now. We're not the same program that we were three years ago. The profile Jim brought at that time, I thought, was really important and really valuable."
Sophomore offensive lineman James Daniels and sophomore cornerback Josh Jackson both underwent surgery this week following the 2015 campaign.
Daniels emerged as a formidable lineman in his true freshman year, and is listed on the 2016 depth chart — which was released Thursday — as the starting center. Jackson is slotted in at backup corner. They will both be limited in spring practice.
Ferentz said the team doesn't anticipate other players on the roster having surgery this offseason.
Additionally, Drew Ott's application status for another year of eligibility is still unknown. The senior defensive end had both knee and elbow surgeries in the fall, and applied for a medical hardship waiver in November.
"That's still in process," Ferentz said. "Needless to say, we'd love to have him back. We'll do all we can to advocate for him. We'll wait and see how that pans out."
Jumping into the depth chart
The aforementioned depth chart was released Thursday for the second-straight January. Before 2015, a depth chart typically wasn't available until the spring.
Other than natural attrition due to graduation, nothing surprising was revealed, though there is some movement on the offensive line. Senior Cole Croston is listed at left tackle, junior Boone Myers at left guard, Daniels at center, junior Sean Welsh at right guard, and Ike Boettger at right tackle. Myers played left tackle for most of 2015.
The kicker and punter positions are open. Sophomore Miguel Recinos and Mick Ellis will be vying for the kicker job. Redshirt freshman Colten Rastetter is listed as the starter at punter.
King is back
Ferentz commented for the first time Thursday on cornerback Desmond King, who announced this week he will be returning to the Hawkeyes for his senior season.
King, who won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back and garnered all-American all-Big Ten recognition, pulled down eight interceptions in 2015 to tie the school record shared by Nile Kinnick and Lou King.
"I wouldn't use the word surprised, but I was really pleased (by King's decision)," Ferentz said. "My sense was that he was giving it serious thought. I don't want to say he was leaning towards coming back, but he had an open mind about it. We encourage that. ... I think he really enjoys the college experience. He values being a team leader. He values being a part of something special.
"This is more fun and more enjoyable than pro football. Every one of our former players says that and I coached in the NFL and I'd say the same thing. The bottom line is pro football will be there for him. He has a chance to get in the NFL a year from now with a college degree, which was important to him and his family."
Quarterback C.J. Beathard already established himself as one of the premiere signal-callers to play at Iowa. But he can further his profile as a senior in 2016.
Beathard, who is 13-2 in his career as a starter, threw for 2,809 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2015. He also rushed for 237 yards and six scores.
"C.J. has a chance to be one of the great players in our history," Ferentz said. "He's already done some unbelievable things."