Here we are in the midst of the baron wasteland of January, seven months from the next Iowa Football game and doing our best to forget about the recent performances of the Iowa basketball team. Sure, there is some reprise in the views into the future with recruiting and National Signing Day coming up next week, but nothing really fills the void of college football Saturdays.
Good news, Hawkeye fans, this weekend you get to wet your beak with one last look at the college level of three former Hawkeye standouts: QB C.J. Beathard, CB Desmond King and DT Jaleel Johnson will be representing Iowa and the North in the Reese’s Senior Bowl Saturday.
Here are the details.
What: Reese’s 2017 Senior Bowl
When: Saturday, January 27th at 1:30pm CT
Where: Mobile, Alabama
TV: NFL Network
Stream: NFL Game Pass (7-day Free Trial Available)
The three Hawkeyes will be joining 14 other former Big Ten players, including seven from Michigan, two from Wisconsin, two from Illinois, and one apiece from Indiana, Nebraska and Minnesota. Full rosters are available here.
Fun facts: OSU has no representatives in this year’s game. While surprising at first, it makes sense given their overall youth. Not great news for Big Ten teams who see the Buckeyes on their schedule in 2017. Oh, hey November 4th! That should be fun!
If you’re not terrible at math, you can see Iowa has the second-most players of any Big Ten team this year. Contrary to the situation at OSU, that may not be great news for the Hawkeyes in 2017.
Minnesota, for some reason, has their lone representative, safety Damarius Travis, playing for the South. Yeah, that makes total sense.
As far as conference breakdowns, it looks like this: shockingly, the SEC leads the way with 24, the ACC has 19, the Big Ten has 17, the Pac-12 has 7 and the Big 12 has 5. There are a handful of FCS players and even four Division-II players participating.
The Hawkeyes, who are all looking to improve their stock ahead of April’s NFL draft, have impressed thus far in practice.
Impressive players from day 1 of #SeniorBowl w/ North Team:— John (@JSiglerNFL) January 25, 2017
DE Carroll Phillips Illinois
DT Jaleel Johnson Iowa
TE Michael Roberts Toledo
Jaleel Johnson stealing the show at North practice today. Explosive,Strong,Quick and Tough. Like him a lot.— Adam Williamson (@WilliamsonSAW) January 25, 2017
Desmond King/DB/Iowa and Jourdan Lewis/DB/Michigan continue to show natural ball skills and the ability to stay connected to WRs #SeniorBowl— Draft Analyst (@DraftAnalyst1) January 25, 2017
Jaleel Johnson showing really good hand usage in the DL vs OL drills #seniorbowl— Steve Shoup (@Steveospeak) January 25, 2017
Here’s a look at CJ throwing a TD pass. Pretty nice coverage by the DB there as well...
Iowa QB CJ Beathard to Louisville WR Jamari Staples for a highlight reel TD here at the Senior Bowl pic.twitter.com/UpAZIbBETZ— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 25, 2017
Despite looking good overall, there have also been some low moments. King, in particular, has had a couple videos hit the interwebz that, when taken alone, won’t help him. Apparently, Iowa native Amara Darboh has no love lost for his home state school.
King has been praised for his ball skills, but the concerns over his speed haven’t subsided. While those concerns likely played into the All-American ending up at Iowa rather than a blue blood, they could mean he moves over to safety rather than sticking at CB in the NFL.
All that said, the Hawkeyes overall have been impressive on and off the field this week.
I assume those dance moves were passed down from (former) coach Davis and coach Morgan.
That never gets old.
Today is the last day of practice you can watch on live TV. You can catch the action on NFL Network. Coverage runs from 12-5pm CT with the North (including all three Hawkeyes) taking the field from 12:15-2:15 and the South working from 3-5 CT.