DT Matt Kroul
Coach: Kirk Ferentz
61-49, 9 years
2007 Record: 6-6
vs. Northern Illinois WON 16-3
at Iowa State LOST 13-15
at Wisconsin LOST 13-17
at Penn State LOST 7-27
at Purdue LOST 6-31
at Northwestern WON 28-17

2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

There have been three distinct stages of head coach Kirk Ferentz’s nine-year career – the first three years that saw the win total(s) go from one in 1999 then to three the next year, and then to seven after that; the next successive three year span was arguably the most successful ever in Iowa City, save the 20-0 run that spanned four seasons from 1920-23; and the past three that have seen his efforts result in mediocrity and struggle. Ferentz was here in the Eighties in midst of the Hayden Fry Era. He coordinated the running game and coached the offensive line under the legendary Hawkeye, finding great success and the feel for how things work here in capitol city. But this might be a pivotal season due to this current run of three tough years, so Kirk needs to pull something out to keep the same alums who fell in love with him after he resurrected the program off of his back.

This year’s situation poses more of a struggle than the effort necessary when Iowa last faced the same kind of uphill climb. Last year was the first one without Drew Tate, and that meant breaking in Jake Christiansen most of last year. Coaches admit now they had the then-sophomore too worried about turnovers, so much so that Jake wasn’t himself. Spring has shown a better hurler in Christiansen and a good chance for reviving the running game with the return of Shonn Green and the arrival of JUCO-transfer Nate Guillory. A solid receiving corps and OL consisting of five returning starters means the offense bounces back.

The defense won’t long for quality. The nation’s returning 36th-ranked stoppers, the entire team’s recent lulls have yet to mean Iowa fields a marginal D. It will come down to whether the LBs can do without Humpal. Moreover, can the DBs deal with the lack of quality depth at corner when up against those multiple-receiver sets? Kroul and King mean the run stopping will be tough and effective.

It all comes full circle with the opener – Ferentz’s first head coaching job was with Maine (1990-92). Perennial power Pittsburgh and rival State come early on. The big break comes in that this year is like last year – no Michigan or Ohio State (the first time since 1935-36 this has happened, when they were all still playing as part of the Western Conference). The toughest run is the three-game span that starts with Wisconsin and ends with Penn State…but both of those games are at home, and the Illinois game in Champaign comes after a bye week. This is a slate through which Iowa should be able to prop itself back up and make a ten-win season a realistic goal if most/all of the spring injury issues can find resolution.

One of the things that helped bring the team closer together was the work they did in helping the flood situation(s) in Parkersburg. Bonding like this pays dividends in many ways, many needed ways to make these student-athletes understand how teamwork applies across many facets in life. Whether more wins come from such a thing remains to be seen, but the resultant camaraderie can’t hurt.

More wins are needed to keep the recruiting levels up to par; 2008’s class saw a substantial drop-off in overall quality, and how can one not think that the team’s 19-18 mark from 2005-07 is a major cause in recruiting drop-off seems absurd. There are to many rising programs - in what might be the greatest era of parity at the FBS level since the late 1800s – for Iowa to rest on its state-college status as the reason they will reemerge. Ferentz has to revive the level of play to what was seen in those 10+-win seasons of 2002-04. That won’t be so easy, but in a year with so many things working for it, the Hawkeyes are at a proverbial crossroads.

Projected 2008 record: 5-7
QB - 4 DL - 4
RB - 2 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Jake Christensen, 198-370-6, 2269 yds., 17 TD

Rushing: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 2 att., 19 yds., 0 TD

Receiving: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 38 rec., 482 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Daniel Murray, 7-10 FG, 16-18 PAT, 37 pts.

Punting: Ryan Donahue, 86 punts, 41.1 avg.

Kicking: Daniel Murray, 7-10 FG, 16-18 PAT, 37 pts.

Tackles: A.J. Edds, 80 tot., 51 solo

Sacks: Mitch King, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Brett Greenwood, 2 for 12 yds.; Bradley Fletcher, 2 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 22 ret., 23.7 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Andy Brodell, 14 ret., 14.4 avg., 0 TD


DT Mitch King
OFFENSE: Tom Busch-FB, Albert Young-RB, Damian Sims-RB, James Cleveland-WR
DEFENSE: Ken Iwebema-DE, Bryan Mattison-DE, Mike Klinkenborg-LB, Mike Humpal-LB, Charles Godfrey-CB, Adam Shada-CB, Devan Moylan-FS

This year under the leadership of Jake Christiansen will be different than the last. In his first season as a starter, Jake looked pretty comfortable and made good decisions for his developmental stage…17 TDs vs. six INTs offers much promise for ’08. Still, 46 sacks were way too many, and accordingly, throwing it away has to become one of his traits if the win total is to increase. Coaches say they had Jake spooked too much about turnovers in ‘07, so he never relaxed into his own grove. In analyzing Christensen’s ground numbers, he seems to be good for about five yards per carry when he’s not tackled behind the line. The junior hurler should show improvements, but he may not complete more than 60% of his passes (has trouble throwing on the run). When Drew Tate left – now two years ago – he took the nation’s No.27 passing attack with him, but Christensen will bring back similar numbers sooner than later. 6’4 Stanzi was the 11th-rated dual-threat QB upon entering collegiate ball, and he is an accurate arm if he can get in long enough to work some kinks out.

If the passing attack is what many expect, the running backs can develop at a natural pace. The backfield talent is inexperienced, but it doesn’t lack talent. JUCO All-American Nate Guillory will provide both speed and toughness. And speaking of junior college ranks, Shonn Greene reemerges after a year at that level (due to grades); his productive freshman year means he’s proven his worth already at this level. Greene is a size or two up from Guillory, but Greene’s speed is about the same. Both block well, too. McLaughlin is the main plow, but he will probably go underutilized as a ball-carrier (like most qualified fullbacks in today’s football world).

The passing game looks good with so many experienced snarlers back. Most important is the return of senior Andy Brodell from a hamstring that took him from coordinator Ken O’Keefe in the fourth game (Wisconsin won 17-13). Brodell set the Alamo Bowl record for receiving yards against Texas in 2006. Whether he’s back to his normal (sub-4.4) self won’t be known until September. The guy who stepped into the role of ‘go to’ guy was Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. As a RS frosh, he led the team in both receptions and the yardage associated with it. The new position coach is ex-Michigan perennial Erik “Soup” Campbell, and Johnson-Koulianos has developed under his tutelage into a superior WR. He will break out, as will 6’3 Trey Stross. “He's a very exciting guy.” Stross says of Soup. “He's very confident and his biggest thing is to be confident about ourselves and as a squad. He's always running around everywhere, so you just kind of feed off his energy.” Another guy lost in the Wisconsin game was TE Tony Moeaki, but he has proven to be back to his same form. Natural athlete Brandon Meyers stepped in admirably for Moeaki, giving the Hawkeyes extra targets at this current time when injuries have the corps’ health in question heading into August.

The running game, like the passing dimensions, ostensibly needs the five returning starters up front if it is to fulfill its destiny and/or if it is to hit its stride. The sacks were excessive, but the steady decline in the yards-per-game totals over the past three years has fans realizing which area has cost their team the most. Dan Doering is a former five-star prospect, so his upside needs to come this year. Seth Olsen has shown the most consistency inside, via both leadership and his all-conference status. Close behind is Eubanks, who will likely make the Rimington watch list again after his Freshman All-American designation two years ago. Bryan Bulaga’s development is crucial, for Olsen may have to bump inside if Bulaga can’t hold his own. Kyle Calloway seems established, but he, too, is a work-in-progress due to hot/cold results. Ex-TE Kuempel will push Calloway and Bulaga, but this is the marginal area that just might affect production in a domino sequence if the tackles falter again. The best advice we can give Ferentz and O’Keefe is to keep it simple and build from there.


QB Jake Christensen


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Jake Christensen-Jr (6-1, 215) Ricky Stanzi-So (6-4, 215)
FB Jordan McLaughlin-Sr (6-0, 230) Brett Morse-So (6-3, 230)
RB Nate Guillory-Jr (5-10, 185) Shonn Greene-Jr (5-11, 225)
WR Andy Brodell-Sr (6-3, 200) Colin Sandeman-So (6-1, 195)
WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos-So (6-1, 205) Trey Stross-Jr (6-3, 195)
TE Tony Moeaki-Jr (6-4, 255) Brandon Myers-Sr (6-4,250)
OT Bryan Bulaga-So (6-6, 290) Andy Kuempel-Jr (6-7, 295)
OG Dan Doering-Jr (6-7, 300) Julian Vandervelde-So (6-3, 295)
C Rafael Eubanks-Jr (6-3, 285) Rob Bruggeman-Sr (6-3, 287)
OG Seth Olsen-Sr (6-5, 305) Travis Meade-Jr (6-2, 285)
OT Kyle Calloway-Jr (6-7, 305) Wesley Aeschliman-Sr (6-8, 318)
K Austin Signor-Jr (6-4, 230) Daniel Murray-So (5-10, 175)



When Iowa tries to stop their opponents, they’ll find much better results than on offense. Defense won the Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Illinois, and Minnesota games, and the Hawkeye stoppers had their team in position to win against Iowa State and Wisconsin (both early season battles/losses before Christensen was in gear). Only residual affects from the 28 points allowed in the Western Michigan loss (closing game) can get in the way of Iowa again having a quality defensive effort.

Run stopping looks good when the returning DTs were the fourth- and seventh-best tacklers on the team. Kroul and King, respectively, play lighter, each having the speed of a DE but the stoutness needed to plug the middle. Kroul gets the job done, but King’s stat line is even more impressive (14.5 TFLs led the team, while the seven passes he broke up were the team’s second most). Klug was a finalist for Minnesota’s “Mr. Football” as a prep senior, while Hundertmark was one of 11 true freshmen to see action last year. The ends are listed as being heavier than the All-Big Ten King, so you see how the Hawkeye line can/will stunt and pose ever-changing fronts.

Another “Mr. Football” finalist (Indiana), A.J. Edds is the lone returning starter around which the linebacking corps will be formed. A former tight end, Edds broke out as a soph to now be the leading returning tackler (was second behind Humpal). Inside, MIKE Jacoby Coleman bulked up as a true freshman, and he now gives much promise that the departed hats (and their production) can realistically be replaced. The linebackers that play at this school almost always add up to be more than the sum of their parts. Tarpinian was the 2005 Gatorade Player of the Year (Nebraska) as an option QB and DB. He is the fastest of the starters and will be the main coverage nickel. Jeremiha Hunter could be the biggest breakout surprise, for his size-speed combo highlights one of the best skill packages for any Hawkeye. The only thing they have to prove is if they can provide the same level of run stopping as seen the prior three campaigns.

The corners have just as much to prove; the ex-starters left Bernstine and Fletcher to fill their shoes, and senior Fletcher is broken-in enough that there are few worries. His spring was strong. Bernstine worked his kinks out as a true frosh, giving more promise for quality coverage. There is some drop-off after the starters, so these two need to stay healthy. The safeties are emerging. Last year, Greenwood and Dalton didn’t have to do as much as many safety tandems do (saving their teams from their deep perches). These two finished 10th and 11th, respectively, in team tackles, reflects very un-safety like numbers that will grow the more they work together. Greenwood walked on and was listed as the co-starting corner for the opener versus Northern Illinois. Then the Bettendorf native was thrust into the permanent starting safety role in the Penn State game after Devan Moylan was lost for the season the prior week. All the while, Greenwood got better and better, a trend still apparent this spring; he picked right back up where he had left off, improving every time he steps onto the gridiron. Backup Morrow passed on joining the Nittany Lions, and this four-star recruit was employed in his first season here with the loss of Moylan. This unit runs deeper, and may be able to lend a few hands/feet in coverage since the dime package probably will consist mostly of safeties. All that has to happen for this secondary to be one of the conferences’/nation’s best is for Bernstine and Fletcher to become good enough to be left alone. If help has to come from the safeties just to provide basic coverage when only two opposing receivers are fielded, such a stretching of the deeper players will cost Iowa some wins. Moreover, there is no reason this defense should slip in any way.


LB A.J. Edds


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Adrian Clayborn-So (6-3, 275) Chad Geary-Jr (6-3, 261)
DT Matt Kroul-Sr (6-3, 277) Karl Klug-So (6-4, 235)
DT Mitch King-Sr (6-3, 264) Cody Hundertmark-So (6-4, 260)
DE Christian Ballard-So (6-4, 270) Broderick Binns-Fr (6-2, 245)
ILB Jacody Coleman-So (6-3, 240) Pat Angerer-Jr (6-1,230)
ILB Jeff Tarpinian-So (6-3, 220) Jeremiha Hunter-So (6-2, 222)
OLB A.J. Edds-Jr (6-4, 244) Tyler Nielsen-Fr (6-4, 215)
CB Bradley Fletcher-Sr (6-2, 200) Chris Rowell-Jr (6-1, 197)
CB Jordan Bernstine-So (5-11, 200) Drew Gardner-Sr (5-10, 178)
SS Harold Dalton-Sr (6-1, 201) Lance Tillison-So (6-2, 205)
FS Brett Greenwood-So (6-0, 200) Diauntae Morrow-So (6-0, 190)
P Ryan Donahue-So (6-3, 175) Eric Guthrie-Fr (6-6, 205)




Ryan Donahue had a solid first season after coming in as a top 15 recruit (is a placekicker, too). The net results need to keep up with his pace. The place kickers are still neck-and-neck; Murray is more accurate while Sigor has the bigger foot. Expect shared duties to continue. The starting receivers make great return men (Johnson-Koulianos for kicks and Brodell on PRs), but having them left out there (prone to take jarring hits) alone could be bad policy.