Spring football starts up tomorrow; a welcome respite from the fact our beloved basketball teams are not ... playing basketball at this time.
We’ll have some spring football-centered #content for you tomorrow, but first we want to bring you some of the news you may have (we certainly did) missed these past few days, lost in the shuffle of buzzer-beaters, retrievers and green beer.
One large item of note you may have missed: CJ Fiedorowicz is retiring from the NFL, after suffering three concussions last year.
CJF had a breakout season in 2016, hauling in 54 balls for 559 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Houston Texans. Those numbers got him a three-year contract worth $22 million, with just under half that guaranteed.
There was a clause in his contract that kept the team from paying him that money if he retired, however, but I say to hell with that. CJ is doing what he thinks is best for CJ, and we have to agree with that. Concussions are a scary, necessary evil to the game, and CJ believes he doesn’t need that in his life. The last thing we want to see is another Tyler Sash situation.
One large item you likely didn’t miss, however: Spencer Freaking Lee securing the first national championship from a true freshman for Iowa since
2002 1993. Our guy Jordan Hansen wrapped that up here, and dear friend of The Pants Cody Goodwin was on site in Cleveland to cover it.
Lee is becoming somewhat of an internet star not just because of his ruthless grappling. His affinity for Pokémon is garnering recognition from the gaming corners of the internet.
Spencer Lee is quickly becoming our favorite Hawkeye, and is a huge reason why it’s fair to believe Iowa wrestling is pointing back to a dynastic direction.
Some more Hawks in the NFL news: Adrian Clayborn and Matt Tobin have signed with the New England Patriots. Clayborn was given a two-year contract worth $12 million, while Tobin was given a 1-year free agency deal, worth no guaranteed money.
Tennessee, meanwhile, released Karl Klug. Sadly, this could be the end of the road for the Kluginator in the NFL. Klug is about to turn 30, which isn’t the best age to be a one-dimensional backup defensive lineman in the league.
We’ve heard it before: the future is bright for Iowa basketball. Well, I’m sick of hearing (and writing) that, but when incoming players like CJ Fredrick are doing things like this, it’s really tough to not believe:
CJ Fredrick. My goodness.— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) March 18, 2018
End 3Q: Covington Catholic 54, Scott County 43 pic.twitter.com/UAo1LzmpoK
CJ Fredrick didn’t win KY Mr. Basketball, but earned something even sweeter, scoring 32 points in the State Championship win. Storybook ending for Iowa signee.— Corey Albertson (@Corey_Albertson) March 18, 2018
And ho-ho-ho what about Iowa native Joe Wieskamp?!?!
Give those a watch and try not to be excited for next year.
Some other, uh, Iowa basketball recruiting news: Patrick McCaffery is gonna play summer AAU ball in Minnesota, not with the Iowa Barnstormers, after former coach and director Greg Stephen faces federal porn charges.
Other picks to click:
- Former Iowa linebacker and Nebraska d-coordinator Bob Diaco has been tabbed as a defensive assistant at Oklahoma.
- Jarrod Uthoff (and Adam Woodbury) are both still grinding in the G League, hoping for a shot in the NBA.
- The Iowa athletics department is releasing a five-part video series on Chris Street title “Emotion in Motion.” The first installment can be found below:
- This profile of incoming Iowa QB Spencer Petras is a must-read.
- Examining the route trees and successes of Iowa CB Josh Jackson.
- The man behind the ELECTRIC UMBC Twitter account.
- The Economist’s obituary of Stephen Hawking. Another must-read.