Hi, I’m J.P. Scott. I’m a different JP than the JP who usually brings you this Monday read. The other JP had some important things to do, so he asked someone to fill in. I volunteered, so whatever I spit out is what you get. I’m just going to apologize ahead of time.
So let’s get down to business.
We found out over the weekend that defensive tackle Nathan Bazata is close to 100 percent and expects to be ready to go in August. That’s great, not just for the Hawkeyes, but for me as well. I had him pegged as a key player in at least one of the Hawkeye football opponent previews I’ve been churning out over the last few weeks. I like being right once in a while, and Bazata’s health would go a long way in helping my cause.
Also apparently healthy is wide receiver Matt VandeBerg. That’s fantastic, given what the Hawkeye depth chart at the receiver position looks like right now:
And in more football news, some freshman named Peyton who has never taken a snap has his eyes on the starting quarterback gig. I personally like the swagger and competitiveness. I also saw that Spring game. It might not be terrible if the kid is better than what we saw out of the quarterbacks who were slinging the pigskin around haphazardly that night. Here are some of his highlights, in case there may be some of you who haven’t seen them:
Moving right along, last week the regular JP pointed out how Robert Gallery was on the 2018 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. Very cool. Even cooler — in my not-so-humble opinion — was the fact that I had the privilege of casting a vote. Yes, I voted for Gallery. In case you missed it last week, here is who I voted for and why.
Let’s talk WRASSLIN’!
Over the weekend, former Hawkeye Thomas Gilman defeated fellow former Hawkeye Tony Ramos twice at the World Team Trials in Lincoln, Nebraska to earn a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in Paris in August. Gilman will represent the United States in the 57 kg weight class.
On a personal note, I live just blocks from Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha — Gilman’s alma mater — and have followed his career closely. His story is one of sacrifice, dedication and resiliency. I’m biased, but I truly believe wrestling is the toughest sport on the planet. To have the career he had in high school, go to Iowa and come away without a single NCAA title would devastate lesser men. Gilman has never looked back, and now has a real chance to add the words “World Champion” after his name for the rest of his life. As the father of a son who will be exposed to the sport and hopefully take it up, Gilman is one guy whom I will point out to my son as an example of persistence.
Ok, back to football.
We were all excited when C.J. Beathard and George Kittle both ended up on the same team. Most of us have little doubt that they’ll both make the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but how confident are you in the impact — especially immediately — that the two of them might have in the Bay Area?
Take this for what’s it’s worth, but as an avid dynasty-league fantasy football player and former fantasy football writer, I can tell you that both of them are positioned to nicely to not only make the team, but also start at some point during the season. The talent ahead of both of them on their respective depth charts can be summed up with a resounding “MEH”, and San Francisco is in a position where they are going to be willing to experiment and give everyone a fair shot. As we know, Beathard and Kittle are two guys who make the most of their opportunities. If you play in dynasty or “keeper” fantasy leagues in the fall, you should consider both of them low-risk, high-reward gambles.
Bob Stoops retired!
Talk about coming out of left field. That was crazy, and despite some Sooner-faithful celebrating his departure, Stoops’ exit has the potential to set that program back for quite some time once the talent he recruited moves on. Bob Stoops is a big name, and in college football, your coach’s name is the top recruiter. Lincoln Riley will need to consistently be in the College Football Playoff conversation to keep Oklahoma relevant in a geographic recruiting area shared by all of the Texas schools, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Nebraska. If he is unable to deliver, you could see Oklahoma fall back to the middle of a not-so-deep Big 12 Conference. Replacing coaches is hard. Replacing legends is harder.
DID Y’ALL SEE THIS SHIT?
Former Hawkeye Damond Powell is getting shit done in the IFL. He even has an touchdown celebration that can only be described as “the shit!”
I’m not sure Kirk Ferentz would have let that shit fly during Powell’s time in Iowa City. I’m guessing the shit would have hit the fan.
And finally, let’s talk hoops.
Iowa drew a trip to Virginia Tech in the 2017-2018 Big Ten/ACC challenge. Speaking of “meh”, that about sums this up. If it were football, this might be fun. But in basketball, Iowa is traveling to the middle of nowhere Appalachia to face an unsexy opponent in a game they probably stand a very good chance of losing. In all fairness, aside from it being a home game for the Hokies, they probably aren’t too excited about it either. But it is what it is.
Personally, I’m more peeved about the Iowa’s absence in the upcoming season’s Gavitt Tipoff Games between the Big Ten and Big East. As a Creighton season ticket holder, I’m always waiting to see if and when the Hawkeyes will make the trip to Omaha or the Bluejays to Iowa City. And when that doesn’t happen, it’s still fun to see which Big East team the Hawkeyes draw for the event. So combining the trip to Blacksburg, Virginia with no matchup against a Big East squad is a bit of a bummer for me personally.
Welp, that’s all I got this week. I hope I didn’t ruin this thing for the other JP and you all continue to come back and read this column weekly. It’s his baby and I tried to take care of it while he was away. All I can do now is attempt to match his incredible GIF game by exiting stage right.
Thanks for reading, everyone.