With Carl Jackson's retirement to refocus his commitment to acting, Iowa had a spot to fill on the coaching staff. That was addressed quickly, as Kirk Ferentz has hired former Michigan WR coach Erik Campbell. Campbell was a member of the Carr regime before Rodriguez cleaned house; only RB coach Fred Jackson (no relation) remained.
We're incapable of original thought, so we decided to get Brian's take on it:
During the staff turnover period, most Michigan fans wanted to keep Campbell. Michigan's had a steady string of bionic death receivers under him; there was only one year when the position group seemed even close to average: 2005, when Jason Avant and Steve Breaston were the primary threats. Both of those guys have embarked on what should be long NFL careers.
We like bionic death receivers. For as great as the IGWWR model has been for the Hawkeyes, the fact remains that no Ferentz-recruited WR's have been drafted. Meanwhile, Michigan's receivers do this to us:
There is a chicken-and-egg issue here, as Michigan has recruited very well at the position. Iowa probably won't bring in a Manningham or an Arrington -- both top 100 recruits -- to mold.
And herein lies the rub. Sure, Michigan's guys were going to the NFL, but they were freakish athletes before they even strapped the winged helmets on.
Erik didn't teach this
Meanwhile, looking back at Iowa's recruiting record since 2002, it's not exemplary. Before DJK, the two most highly-rated WR recruits were Trey Stross and, like, Herb Grigsby. Sure, Andy Brodell's turned out all right, but it's not like we beat out USC and Miami for him.
So it's a matter of recruiting and coaching [WOW REALLY???--ed.], and while it's hard to discern what difference there is between Lester Erb and Erik Campbell in that regard, it's easy to see Campbell's had more to work with, and he's gotten a lot more out of it than Erb has.
All in all, you know, we're getting a Michigan coach who isn't Mike Debord, and one with a pretty unblemished track record of great success(!) from his players. Hard to complain about that.