When you speak things into existence... good things happen. And after weeks and weeks of Hawkeye fans all over social media begging the NCAA decision makers to #FreeOliverMartin, we have finally succeeded... we have finally beaten the overlords.
Friends, family, the Oliver Martin saga has finally come to an end!
IT’S HAPPENING. Register source confirms that Oliver Martin has been cleared to play for the 2019 Hawkeyes.— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) August 28, 2019
Word just came into UI compliance from the Big Ten. Here’s an exclusive look at how it all came together. https://t.co/zmFonG9VwA
The news we’ve been sitting on pins and needles for is finally out, and it’s all systems go for Oliver Martin. The Iowa City native’s waiver was granted and he is eligible immediately. May the Big Ten West shutter.
Just like that, our beloved Hawkeyes are 1-0 five days before the start of the 2019 season. T’s and P’s to Drew Ott. May we all remember he was sacrificed for this blessing.
I’ve been thinking a TON about Martin (who hasn’t?) and at this point, it’s not hard to imagine how easy it will be for him to step right into this offensive system. With the hype, we’ve all had time an appropriate amount of time to read up and familiarize ourselves with his stature as a recruit. We know about his elite skill set, amazing hands, and quick twitch speed. We know that he played in a pro-style system under Jim Harbaugh the last two seasons. We know he’s ready to step in and become a big time, go-to weapon on a team that has spent the offseason coming up with ways replace two first round NFL tight ends.
The install the remainder of the week should be very, very entertaining.
When things were up in the air, adding Martin to the depth chart made for quality “what if’s” all around Iowa Twitter. But now that we can bank on it, I think it’s finally time to put a stamp on what this is: the wide receiver room has officially turned into one of the (if not THE) best in Kirk Ferentz’s tenure. With the likes of Brandon Smith (Stanley’s big bodied possession guy that should be peppered with targets in the red zone), Ihmir Smith-Marsette (the true burner that everyone is ecstatic about), Tyrone Tracy (playmaker in the making), Nico Ragaini (the next Nick Easley) and now Martin (a healthy dose of the above attributes), there is a deep level of athleticism and talent that we’ve never seen at Iowa before.
This should also signify the official, OFFICIAL move to a three receiver, one tight end offense this season.
You read that right. Inject the 11 personnel right into my veins!
This is absolutely monumental for Iowa. I can’t shake a little nugget I head on the On Iowa podcast a few weeks ago (shouts to Mascasa and The D.O.C.). Since Marvin McNutt’s final season, the slot receiver has led the team in receptions each and every year for Iowa. Outside of the tight end position, the slot is where Iowa quarterbacks have turned to in the passing game to move the ball down the field. It’s obvious as to why when you consider the match-up both positions get against Big Ten linebackers/smaller safeties... and a lack of a true and reliable possession receiver.
But that’s not the case anymore (and probably wasn’t if we got some bad news about Martin. Now, Stanley and Brian Ferentz have high end pass catching depth. What do opposing defenses do against five (at least) receivers that need to be accounted for, Shaun Beyer/Nate Wieting/Drew Cook and Mekhi Sargent running around and plenty of time for Nate Stanley to pick his poison?
Lose. That’s what.
What does this mean big picture wise? I believe (and my podcast co-host is going to be really pleased to see me write this) this is the season we can all finally judge Brian Ferentz in full. There are too many weapons on this offense for the run game or the passing game to fail. If (like some people have assumed) Kirk is giving directives to be conservative, it’s time for Brian Ferentz to establish himself as the future head coach. Show each of these players ringing the bell during Doyle time, put on some of their tape and talk his dad right the hell out of that stupid order. It’s time to unleash the “Patriots system” upon the Big Ten West. It’s time to “rideeeeee until we can’t no more”. It’s time to take advantage of the mismatches this program has.
There shouldn’t be a defensive coordinator out there that should know what Iowa is doing on any given down.
Time will tell the overall impact Oliver Martin has on Hawkeyes’ offense. That time is not today. We’re going to have a good day: