If there was one single moment from all of last season that I will always remember, it’s this:
I know what the end result was and I know it wasn’t what we all intended, but lets not forget that fairytale-in-the-making moment. With Iowa down 10 and going nowhere fast offensively (they punted five times in a row and were leaking points away in the second half), Geno Stone’s pick six put everything back on the table for Iowa.
Trust me when I say, the juice factor turned up to 100 after this play for Iowa and our fans in the stands and, as an added bonus, we stopped the Penn State band from playing Mo Bamba which seemed to be the war song for the Lions the entire game.
Let’s face it, without Stone getting a little payback against the school that teased and teased and teased him until he couldn’t take it anymore (and thankfully moved on to the Hawkeyes), Iowa wouldn’t have even been in the position for that whole Nate Stanley/Noah Fant/No Timeout debacle.
Geno Stone — Junior
New Castle, PA (Senior)
5’10”, 210 lbs
2019 Projection: SS
By now, you know the deal on Geno. He was your typical undersized, average athlete, who couldn’t run with a low star rating that seemed destined to play in Prime Time MACtion until, show how some way, Iowa (yet again) turned him into a ballhawking, coverage nightmare that is now one of (if not THE) best safties in the entire Big Ten.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Once Iowa switched to the nickel (which moved Amari Hooker into the famed CASH position), Stone was able to fill right in without even a hint of drop off. And in just eight games as a starter, he was able to put together an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention season that has a lot of us excited at what he’ll be able to accomplish as the full time starter.
Geno Stone locked-down in coverage for Iowa and will look to bolster the defense once again this year. pic.twitter.com/RdLdrptLmg— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 12, 2019
On top of those PBU’s and INTs, Stone finished the season with 39 tackles and a forced fumble.
He can hit. He can catch. He can score. He can shut down an entire portion of the field. He’s super smart and willing to coach up his younger teammates. He’s a leader in every sence of the word. Every time he seemingly puts on his pads, he creates an edge for Iowa that pushes everyone around him to fight with that edge that launched him into this position in the first place.
And if the past is any indication of the future, we’ll soon be adding #DBU to the hashtag list.