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Hawkeyes move Drew Cook from quarterback to tight end

Mark Emmert
memmert@gannett.com

 

IOWA CITY, Ia. — There’s a simple reason the Iowa football team moved has moved Drew Cook from quarterback to tight end, coach Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday.

“I think he can help our football team win sooner at that position than the other,” Ferentz told reporters after announcing the long-rumored change.

Cook, a sophomore from Iowa City Regina who was battling to be the Hawkeyes’ third-string quarterback, was shifted last week. Cook has shown promise in his first four practices at tight end, Ferentz said.

Iowa's Drew Cook signs autographs during the Hawkeyes' spring game last year, when he was a quarterback. He will be on the field as a tight end Friday.

 

Cook’s transition means sophomore Ryan Boyle is in line to be Iowa’s third-string quarterback, one year after the West Des Moines Dowling Catholic graduate moved to wide receiver but never saw the field. Boyle returned to quarterback, at his request, this spring. Nathan Stanley and Tyler Wiegers are battling for the starting job.

Cook’s father, Marv, was an all-American tight end for the Hawkeyes in 1988 before enjoying a seven-year NFL career. Marv is the coach at Regina, where Drew starred at quarterback.

But Cook’s future as a signal-caller at Iowa seemed to be blocked, and there was long speculation that, given his size, he would wind up trying his hand at his father’s position. Iowa has seven scholarship tight ends fighting for playing time this season, but it’s an untested group.

“You're looking for athletic ability, frame, size. But most of all, and this is what's always stood out to us about Drew, you're looking for guys that think the right way." Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said. "Guys that approach things the right way. Guys that are improvement-driven, detail-oriented. Drew Cook is that kind of guy.

“So when you talk about moving positions or making a change, he's not a guy you worry about. He's a guy that you know will jump in and he's going to do the best you can. He does have physical attributes and he's got a real chance to be successful there.”