Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wishing Upon a Star, Or Five

Kirk Ferentz has made a career out of turning one and two star prospects into future NFL players. So, when Iowa pulled in an elite recruiting class in 2005 people went from thinking about Big Ten championships to possible national championship contention. Now, four years later, we can look back and see that, once again, star rating systems mean very little when it comes to a Kirk Ferentz coached team. recently did a feature on the top 50 five star busts from the class of 2005. Unfortunately, all three of Iowa’s five star players from that class made the list. Here’s what collegefootballnews had to say:

45. OG Dan Doering, Iowa – While Doering has been a valuable and versatile
backup for the last three seasons, that’s not what you expect from one of the
nation’s top-ranked offensive line prospects. Unable to crack the Hawkeye
starting lineup, in part because of injuries, he has one more year to get
noticed, possibly as the replacement for Seth Olsen

33. OT Dace
Richardson, Iowa – For Richardson, the talent has always been there, but the
health has not. After laying the groundwork in 2005 and 2006 for a terrific
career, he was felled by a series of knee injuries that required surgery. The
problems interrupted much of his 2007 season and shelved him for 2008. He
remains cautiously optimistic that he’ll resume his career

4. TE
Tony Moeaki, Iowa – Persistent injuries over the last two seasons have prevented
Moeaki from maxing out his full potential. He’s made 46 career grabs, peaking at
the beginning of 2007 with an eight-catch, three-touchdown effort against
Syracuse. He’s hoping to put it all together next fall, provided the NCAA grants
him a medical hardship for the eight games he missed two years ago.Worth the
Hype? Not quite

So according to collegefootballnews, Iowa had three of the top 45 busts of the class including the fourth biggest of 2005. It is hard to argue against that, as all three haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of their potential. The one point that can’t be overlooked is that all three of these players have been seriously unlucky with injuries. Tony Moeaki has shown flashes of greatness at times but has also turned into Iowa’s very own injury prone version of Ken Griffey Jr. or Grant Hill. Like the article says, all three remain optimistic to make an impact in 2010 and make one final run at reaching that potential.

The 2005 class will always be looked at as a disappointment. But, as long as ranking are around there will always be players who get overlooked. For every Jake Christensen (****, 15th Ranked QB) somewhere there is a Dallas Clark (walk-on, high school QB).

Due to having to take a year of prep school after 2004, Shonn Greene is technically listed as a 2005 recruit as well. From the 51st rated running back to consensus All-American and Doak Walker award winner, I’ll take a handful of three stars the caliber of Shonn Greene any day.
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  1. Moeaki is a bit of a disappointment. Every year he is listed as one of the top tight ends in the country and never does anything. Brandon Myers was a much better tight end and was underrated. I hope Moeaki can produce the numbers this year that Myers has the past two seasons otherwise there will be a void. I never really like getting five star recruits because it seems like we work so much better with lower star recruits. Like when we used to get (what I like to call)- farm boys. Guys like Chad Greenway and Dallas Clark that may not have not been highly recruited but we switched their positions and they were two of the best players to come out of the UI. We need guys that are ready to come in and work and regardless of their position they come to work day in and day out. Than we also need more guys like crazy Matt Roth that kept everyone in the locker room in check and made sure they didn't do anything dumb to jeopardize the season.

  2. It'll be very interesting to see how Moeaki performs for his final season. If he can stay healthy, and that's a big if, can he dominate. He's been snake-bitten by injuries like few other players in Iowa history. Hopefully we can all see what he can this next season.