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There's a Game on Saturday? Not Exactly: Spring Practice Notes

Notes for the 2010 Spring Game Scrimmage Practice, scheduled to kick off (in a figurative sense) at 1:00 Saturday:

Pre-Practice Stretching.  As mentioned earlier, we're bringing the BHGP to the parking lots Saturday morning.  The goal is to be in the primary lot at Kinnick Stadium by 8:00, hopefully as close as possible to the Cambus station in the back.  Without guaranteed parking spots or the option to park Friday night, our success in this endeavor is about as questionable as Tony Moeaki with a nagging hamstring problem.  

The Saturday forecast is predicting it to be sunny with highs in the 60's, so -- unlike the regular season tailgate, where we got hit with temps in the 20s and snow -- HS can safely wear his now-illegal Stanzi Is the Manzi t-shirt without freezing to death.  He's 6'7" and has a beard.  He's hard to miss.  Also, there will be a gameday post/openthread; we will put our location in the comment thread once it's been locked down.

Drop the Depth Chart!  As a short-term snapshot of the team on April 17, the final spring depth chart tells us virtually nothing at positions riddled with injuries; it's not as if Brad Rogers will be the starting halfback in September, or Nick Nielsen and Jack Swanson are your top-line safeties.  But there is still valuable information in there:

  • Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, rumored to again be in trouble with the coaching staff, shares the first-team split end position with Colin Sandeman.  Last year, DJK was listed as second-team wideout through the fall.  Everyone thought it was merely a motivational tactic, and then the season started, and DJK was still second-team wideout.  So take the current depth chart position of the man set to break every meaningful Iowa career receiving record as you may.
  • The left side of the offensive line is set, with returning starters Riley Reiff at left tackle and Julian Vandervelde at left guard.  If you believe KF's remarks to reporters Wednesday, the right side is increasingly stable with tackle Markus Zusevics and guard Adam Gettis.  Center is still a toss-up between Josh Koeppel and James Ferentz; all indications are that Ferentz came on strong this spring.
  • Unsurprisingly, James Vandenberg is now listed alone at QB2.  Up until this week, he had shared that line with John Wienke in theory, if not always in practice.
  • Jeff Tarpinian is now first-team middle linebacker, moving from his former spot on the weakside and drawing rave reviews from the coaching staff for his spring play.  Troy Johnson, who had been in contention for that spot, is now listed as Jeremiha Hunter's backup at WLB.  Unsurprisingly, Tyler Nielsen has cemented himself as A.J. Edds' replacement at strongside linebacker.
  • True sophomore Micah Hyde has passed up star-crossed junior Jordan Bernstine in the competition for the second cornerback position.  Bernstine, for the third straight year, entered spring as a prohibitive favorite for a starting corner spot; for the third straight year, for whatever reason (injuries have certainly played their part), he's been passed up by a less-experienced teammate.  Norm Parker mentioned Tuesday that Bernstine might not be fully back from the broken ankle that kept him out last season.
Details, Details.  Ferentz has already said this won't be a full-on scrimmage, mostly because this team isn't healthy enough to field two full teams.  The young guys might scrimmage toward the end, just to give them an opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.  We'll begrudgingly oblige.  After all, it's not like we'll have any other football for the next four months.