NEXT WEEKEND. Five members of the 2013 Hawkeye Football team will head to Indianapolis to test for scouts at the NFL Combine. James Morris, Christian Kirksey, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Anthony Hitchens and Connor Bofelli will take part in the four day event carried live on the NFL Network. The tight ends and offensive line test first on February 22nd. Iowa's trio of linebackers will test on the third day, February 24th.
The four months between the last game as a Hawkeye and the NFL Draft can be pretty crazy. We wondered what that is like and found a former Hawkeye to talk about it. Former Hawkeye Adam Gettis, now of the Washington Redskins, was kind enough to answer our questions about Pro Day, the Combine and the NFL Draft.
Perhaps, no other Hawk improved his draft status over this period more than Gettis. Prior to the combine, many draftniks had him rated as a 7th round to possible free agent in the draft after starting all 13 games at guard his senior season. At 290 pounds, he ran a sub 5.0 forty-yard dash and recorded a broad jump of 112 inches. Both would be the best among guards. His draft stock began to rise and he was selected in the 5th round, with the 141st pick by the Washington Redskins.
He's on Twitter and give him a follow:
Iowa putting a Joe Jackson beating on Michigan!!!!!— Adam Gettis (@NotOnDuty__) February 8, 2014
Q- Your Hawkeye Football career ended with a bowl game against Oklahoma in Phoenix at the end of 2011. What happens immediately after? Did you get right to preparing for the NFL Combine? Did you work out on campus or head to one of the training facilities that have programs to prepare athletes?
AG- The next morning after the bowl game I drove to the the facility, PEP in Scottsdale, AZ. I trained there for my Pro Day because I didn't know if I was going to get invited to the Combine.
Q- How do you prepare for the Combine? Are the workouts different from how you prepare your body for a regular football season?
AG- The workouts are completely different from normal workouts. They are Combine specific drill to make sure you got them down. You still get a good lift and run in but you want to make sure you're prepared for the Combine.
Q- What about the Wonderlic Exam and all of the interviews? How did you prepare for those? Does Kirk Ferentz and staff prepare you for that process as well as the physical tests?
AG- Blake Baratz and the Institute for Athletes (my agent and agency) does an amazing job getting you ready for the Wonderlic. We had classes twice a week to give us an idea on how it worked and how to take the test. I'm not sure about Coach Ferentz, but I know Doyle would put emphasis on the test for the seniors if we thought we were going to the next level. Ferentz and Coach Doyle do a wonderful job getting the guys ready for the Combine when it comes to the physical also.
Q- Following your final Iowa season, were you confident you'd hear your name on draft day(s)?
AG- My agent kept telling me 7th round to undrafted, so in my head I was preparing to go in undrafted and work my way up. But, I knew there was always a chance.
Q- You ran a blazing 4.91 40-yard dash at the Combine and was at the top of your group in the 10-yard dash and the broad jump. Would you say you were always an explosive player or did that develop over time while at Iowa and in the strength and conditioning program?
AG- My coaches always told me I was an explosive player, but there was a lot of development and refinement when I was at Iowa. Coach Morgan definitely put in the time and effort to get me where I needed to be. It's funny, I didn't get the invite to the Combine until a week before, but I'm glad I did.
Q- After that performance at the Combine, did you start to hear from more teams? Did you feel your draft stock was on the rise, so to speak?
AG- I heard from almost every team after the Combine. Some teams told me they weren't gonna take the chance on drafting me but most said if it presented itself they would draft me. At that point I had an idea my draft stock was going up.
Q- Five Hawkeye seniors will compete in the NFL Combine this year. What advice, if any, would you give them?
AG- I'm really excited for those guys. I'll definitely be watching. My advice that I'd give them and the same advice I took going in: "Do what you do. Don't try to be superman. Do what you have been coached to do and you'll be fine."
Q- Out of high school, recruiting services had you rated as a two-star prospect but yet you became a second team all-Big Ten selection and a fifth round draft pick in the NFL. How do you think you got from one to the other?
AG- I believe the star systems mean nothing. You have guys like Allen Reisner not ranked at all and make it to the NFL. But it takes a lot of hard work and trusting in what the coach wants for you. In the end he wants what's in your best interest because it's what's in his best interest.
Q- Draft experts said the knock on you was your size but you had speed and solid technique. How much does technique overcome size?
AG- Technique is my whole game. If you have bad technique at any size, you wont be able to stop anyone. There's a lot of guys in the league that are considered small but they hold their own on a day-to-day basis.
Q- We talked to a draft expert, James Christensen, who believes that the Iowa system better prepares players for the NFL. Do you find that to be true?
AG-I definitely believe this. Just by the number of people we still have playing in the NFL tells you that Iowa is doing something right. I believe it has a lot to do with Coach Ferentz and his system.
Q- Following the Combine, Iowa will hold a Pro Day for scouts (behind closed doors). What's Pro Day like? Is it more than testing your 40-yard dash and vertical jump? Are you asked to run drills and if so, what kind?
AG- Pro Day is a condensed version of the Combine. You do everything that the Combine does. It's still has the same tests that the Combine has. You know what your fighting for so everyone puts in maximum effort. It was more fun because you're with all your brothers cheering you on and I felt like that was giving all the guys an extra push to get that extra inch in every drill.
Q- What's draft day (weekend) like? Describe your celebration when you received the phone call that you'd been selected by the Washington Redskins.
AG- Draft day was crazy. I knew I wasn't going to be drafted the first day and the second day was a toss up. Those days aren't stressful. The third day, I call it Hawkeye day, was awful. Seeing guys at your position is tough. Then I saw my brother Mike Daniels go in the fourth. I was really excited for him. Then I got call like eight picks later. It was amazing. I got a 703 number and I was trying to figure out who it was. I answered the phone and it was Mike Shanahan. You talk to the head coach and position coach and GM. Then the party REALLY begins.
Q- Finally, because I have to ask, you're now teammates and block for former Michigan State Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins. He got you your senior season but you're still up on the overall scorecard. Do you ever give him shit over old or upcoming Iowa-MSU games?
AG- It's funny, he's as much as a Hawkeye fan as I am. He even has a Iowa hat in his locker just like me. I will always give him crap though. We usually have a friendly wager on games, along with Evan Royster, Barry Cofield, Trenton Robinson, and Ryan Kerrigan.
AND AGAIN. A huge thank you to Mr. Gettis for taking the time to answer our questions. He's entering his third season with the Redskins and he's forever a Hawkeye.
Six Hawkeyes were taken in the 2012 Draft. Here's a montage of the Hawkeye selections: