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Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Hello hello hello and welcome to Black Heart Gold Pants, an Iowa Hawkeyes blog.

We have a lot to cover today! Let’s get to the obvious:

Yesterday was first day of the Early Signing Period, a new deal that lets football recruits commit to schools earlier than the previous first Wednesday in February designation.

Iowa signed between 16-18 players to its 2018 recruiting class yesterday. The reason for the 16-18 is because Kirk Ferentz says some players have signed their letter of intent, but won’t announce until February to do so with their high school teammates. Our main man JPinIC has a whole recruiting roundup for you right here.

Sticking with football, Ferentz addressed the media yesterday for bowl availability and recruiting news. For the first time in awhile, he had real news to report. What we learned:

He stressed that this is a business trip for Iowa, but also outlined some of the activities the team is participating in:

Many of our players have never been to New York City. I'm certainly not an expert on that place. I think it's going to be a great opportunity, certainly the 9/11 observatory, that visitation, the Rockettes show I've heard is really something to be seen, and just experiencing Christmas in the nation's largest city is going to be unique for our players. Looking forward to all those things.

This is a business trip for us. Our goal, our focus is to go to Yankee Stadium next Wednesday and come out victorious, so we know we have a lot of work to do. Our focus has been on that preparation during this time.

  • Brandon Snyder is not traveling to the Pinstripe Bowl as punishment for his DWI a couple weeks ago. I predicted as much when the charge happened.
  • Miles Taylor is traveling to the bowl game but will not participate due to injury. He was previously listed as the No. 1 strong safety in front of Amani Hooker in a depth chart released this week. We’re not sure if Hooker is back to full speed, either. Geno Stone could fill in there, other than that it’s anyone’s guess.
  • Starting left tackle Alaric Jackson will not participate in the Pinstripe Bowl due to a violation of team rules. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs is sliding over, while Levi Paulsen is filling in for Wirfs on the right side. Jackson is traveling to the bowl, however.
  • Toks Akinribade had surgery and won’t participate in the bowl.
  • Bowl prep looks kind of fun!

Micah Hyde and Brandon Scherff made the Pro Bowl:

Iowa basketball takes on Colorado in Sioux Falls tomorrow night. We’ll have a preview for you Friday, but for now, here’s our Q&A with Ralphie Report.

Early thoughts: Iowa could be in trouble!

Other links:

This map is fantastic:

And that’s that. Be sure to listen to the latest episode of the Pants Party Podcast and stick with us through the holidays as we continue to cover everything Hawkeye.