Kirk on the Side
Q: Did you feel like Sash was one of those guys you lost the tug of war with an agent?
Kirk Ferentz: I don’t want to speak for any individual. I know nationally right now, agents are looking out for their best interests and they are selling the dream. For an agent it’s simple; they are trying to get 10 racehorses and hope three can place; that is how they make their money. It’s a cold call business and they can be seductive selling the dream. We sell in recruiting, except I think ours has more substance to it. Everyone has a better chance of getting a college degree than they do playing in the NFL. That is a fact but its a sign of the times. There is so much interest in recruiting, there is so much interest in the draft. It has become an industry. I don’t blame players for dreaming. All that being said we wish Tyler all the best. He did a great job for us and he is a great young guy.
Q: Did you see that coming?
Ferentz: You never know. Going back to Dallas Clark and Robert Gallery. Dallas had his mind made up and was gone. With Robert it was a 10 second conversation. He asked me if I was staying I said yeah, I said are you? He said yeah. That was it.
Q: Was that like Bulaga and Clayborn?
Ferentz: Yeah. I am fine for Bryan obviously.
Q: How much did all the Rhabdo stuff wear on you personally and your staff?
Ferentz: It took a lot of time, but it was hard on everyone. We are at the bottom of the food chain there. It was hardest on the affected players and parents. My wife and I both know what it’s like to have a kid hospitalized. There is no fun in that and your whole world starts. Then its coming back and not being able to immerse yourself full speed. When athletes go through that there is no fun there. The good news is there are no longterm problems and I got those reports from the onset. We will work through this like anything else. At the end of the day everyone will be fine. You have to do your job and be smart. The most positive thing out of the report was they are convinced that no one was negiligent here. You have to learn from what happened. We can’t discard what happened, even though there is no traceable link. It’s like a conditioning drill; we push our guys. We lost one of our better players mid-December during one of those periods, we were pushing yard to get ready for the game and when that guy got injured, we had noone to put in for him. He made it back though. That is a part of the process.
Q: The Board of Regents are meeting today and then it’s put aside. How big of a relief is it?
Ferentz: In a perfect world that is what I would like to do. This world is not perfect and it never will be. There will be something else coming down the tracks and we will hang on for the next one. It’s good to have some closure.
Q: You did have to go through a comparable period four years ago with the off the field stuff. Do you draw on any of that, because you did make it back as a program?
Ferentz: I can’t rank which is worse, but there are things you have to manage and deal with and you try to learn from. It’s a cost of doing business here. There will always be something We have a population of over 100 and an age group of 18-23. We are always going to have to manage and deal with things, that is part of the reality of this job. The thing that has changed is the methods of communication. They have changed dramatically. It’s part of the deal. Two players arrested in Aspen, CO in spring break and that was out there that day. 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have.
Q: Do you toy with Micah Hyde at Safety?
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Ferentz: We might fool around with that. We will look at difference combinations. We will fool around with him in there, with Jordan in there and look for the best combinations.
Q: Who would have to rise at corner?
Ferentz: Lowery. Castillo. Jordan is in that mix. We don’t have a lot of numbers but we have a lot of candidates. We are not five deep but we have guys that will compete well.
Q: Can you remember a time in basketball, football with coaches being suspended like they are now?
Ferentz: No. I can’t.
Q: Surprised by it?
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Ferentz: I think it’s the world we are living in. 10 years ago, you will never see a Don Shula, Chuck Knoll or Tom Landry. They were NFL institutions. Take Pittsburgh out of the equation. You won’t see anyone last 20 years in the same organization. We all know there won’t be another Joe Paterno.
Q: Do you think about giving players gold pants for beating Iowa State (like Ohio State does for its players when they beat Michigan, which were sold by some Ohio State players)
Ferentz: I am still trying to figure out how that works.
Q: They win their pants.
Ferentz: Those things are worth money, right? Perhaps its a part of their bowl gift.
Q: 70 years of tradition….
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Ferentz: It still doesn’t make it right…I am assuming that comes out of their bowl gift allotment. We are not going to do that.
Q: What is Brian (Ferentz, Kirk’s son and Tight Ends coach at New England) doing during the lockout?
Ferentz: Right now everyone is full speed ahead with the draft. He may be playing bridge after that, we’ll see.
Q: Is there any chance of reconciliation with DJK?
Ferentz: There is a chance for anything in life. Right now I am focused on my job.
Q: You talked before about bringing Brian in here some day. Now that he has a title..
Ferentz: He is a big man now. He is a big shot. I have to schedule appointments to talk to him now and work through his assistant. In a perfect world I would love to work for him. That is my retirement job.
Q: Is running back a spot where a true freshman could play this year?
Ferentz: No question. Right now, first and foremost we have Marcus here and Jason White. I am eager to see DeAndre Johnson. He missed his senior year of high school and was in terrible shape when we got here and his knee was 85%. So it will be fun to watch him and see where he is at. Then in the secondary and who knows with the linebackers and defensive line. We have an open mind everywhere. Offensive line I doubt it. Outside of that we will have an open mind. Quarterback, I doubt it. Jake would like to redshirt and we want to do that.