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IT'S NOT PLAGIARISM IF YOU LINK TO IT: LONGEVITY KEY TO FOOTBALL RECRUITING

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Marc Morehouse caught up with Iowa's Athletic Director during a break at the Big Ten AD meetings.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

MARC MOREHOUSE SPOKE WITH IOWA ATHLETIC DIRECTOR GARY BARTA. They are both in Chicago at the spring Athletic Director's meetings. Ferentz still has through 2019 on his contract. The time today's verbal commits will graduate from Iowa if they don't red shirt. The lackluster finish to the 2014 season and mediocre resume through the two thousand teens combined with a "stale" label gives opposing coaches lot's of ammo on the negative recruiting trail. Barta believes Ferentz's longevity speaks for itself. Barta said regarding Ferentz's contract not having a rollover that would extend the contract for a year,

"To answer your direct question, boy, that's a long way off and I haven't even thought about what the discussion is going to be at the end of the year as it pertains to future recruits."

He added,

"Normally, when you tell recruits that, it's when you have a coach who hasn't been there for 16 or 17 years. I don't think that's even a discussion point for recruits because of the amount of years he's been there."

Iowa's recruiting class doubled in size this week with the addition of two defensive ends from Detroit. The four verbal commits gives Iowa the #72 rated recruiting class in the country, according to Rivals. There's still a long way to go and perhaps it's far too early to mention class rankings as camps heat up and recruits give their pledge while visiting campuses over the Summer. Iowa had six commits at this time a year ago. Almost all in-state or a legacy. They added another six over the Summer months.

Barta also discussed stability. While true at the top that's not so true in the assistant ranks. Iowa lost their long-time recruiting coordinator to Culver's last year. Ferentz found a former graduate assistant to fill the position in Seth Wallace. Since Wallace has arrived, Iowa's landed sixteen total recruits (12 last year, 4 this year). None from Chicago. Johnson's old territory.

It's probably too early to evaluate Wallace as recruiting coordinator. Iowa's trying new things offering more prospects and earlier in the process. Iowa has offers at to over 150 prospects including 30 from the state of Georgia. He's been assigned a difficult task selling recruits on Iowa with a coach that could be in his last four years.

Joe Paterno struggled with recruiting as he got up in age. He overcame it by transitioning to a figurehead position. Bobby Bowden admitted it was a problem with recruits too. But, both were far older than Ferentz is today. And far more successful.

Steve Spurrier made the mistake of mentioning he might coach for only two to three years last December and immediately lost recruits. He quickly corrected himself to put out the fires and now uses "four to five years" where ever he goes. That's the promise to prospects he'll be there for their entire career. It's just four years now for Ferentz and we'll see after the season.

This is potentially a big shit sandwich, really. There's no way Barta can roll out an extension for Ferentz at this point. All hell would break loose. At the same time, it could be just another limitation to a football program that already struggles recruiting. This is a cupboard bare move. A real rock and a hard place. But, Gary made his bed in 2010.

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