In the Kirk Ferentz era(13 years) Iowa has flat out been a pipeline to the NFL. They currently have around 40 guys on an NFL roster and rank in the top ten with the most players in the league. Ohio State and Michigan are also on the list but other than that, most of the schools are from down south. So why Iowa? It’s not like they win the Big Ten title every year and have a top 15 recruiting class on a consistent basis. Well my answer is, Kirk Ferentz and has staff develops talent. They recruit guys who they think have not reached their peak and they recognize athletes who can mold talent.
Ferentz also coached in the NFL and a lot of the coachs and General Managers know Ferentz and his staff. A lot of NFL franchises look towards Iowa City first.
Scott Pioli and Bill Parcells have spoken out publicly about Ferentz several times about the guys he develops into NFL talent. Most recently Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots did the same.
Question: You’ve said in the past that scouting one prospect has led you to other guys – I think that’s how you said you found Wes Welker. Did looking at Pat Angerer lead you to finding Jeff Tarpinian?
BB: “No, I think we did a pretty thorough, took a pretty thorough look at all the Iowa guys. Particularly this past year, they had three defensive linemen who are all playing in the league – [Karl] Klug and [Adrian] Clayborn and [Christian] Ballard. They had good linebackers, they had a good safety – [Tyler] Sash is with the Giants. We saw all of those guys, I don’t think any of them were secrets. They’ve had good defensive players through the years. [Iowa Head Coach] Kirk [Ferentz] and I talk every year about general things about football. Of course, Brian [Ferentz], his son, is with us – he was there. There aren’t too many years in Iowa we go by the board without, ‘Hey Brian, what do things look like at Iowa?’ I think that’s one of the schools that we have pretty good information on, relative to some other schools. I don’t think I would really put Jeff in that category. I think Jeff was a guy that, there were a lot of good players on that defense and maybe he got overlooked a little bit, obviously he wasn’t drafted. That was a pretty good defensive team – in the front, at linebacker and in the secondary and they’re well coached, Coach [Norm] Parker does a good job there”.
It’s clear that Norm Parker gets a lot of the credit as well. He has been a legendary defensive coordinator for Iowa and is looked highly upon.
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