Iowa didn’t have a scholarship for another kicker when it delivered its recruiting pitch to Michael Meyer.
The Hawkeyes couldn’t promise a free education, but they sold opportunity to the former Dubuque Wahlert standout.
“We don’t always guarantee (walk-ons) will come to camp, but in his case we did,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We promised him he would have an opportunity, an opportunity to compete. After that, it’s in his hands and he’s got confidence. … The fact that he chose to come showed he had some confidence in his own abilities.”
Meyer accepted Iowa’s invitation as a preferred walk-on, and the Hawkeyes are glad he did. Incumbent Daniel Murray dealt with a leg strain in September and has yet to kick in a game this season and sophomore Trent Mossbrucker didn’t seize the job when handed the place-kicking duties during the first three games.
“Quite honestly, our biggest sales pitch (to Meyer) was we thought he had a realistic chance to (handle kickoffs),” Ferentz said. “He’s done that and none of us foresaw Danny getting hurt or any of that stuff. The way things have materialized, he’s taken it and run with it.”
Meyer has converted all 14 of his extra-point tries this season and three of his four field goals since becoming Iowa’s regular kicker in the fourth game.
“I just thought it was worth looking at,” Ferentz said. “If he hadn’t been practicing well, we wouldn’t have even considered it. We just thought it was worth a shot.”
• NORM UPDATE: The Hawkeyes hoped to get Norm Parker back in time to coach against Michigan State, but it appears as if Iowa will have to wait another week for the return of its defensive coordinator. Parker, 69, has missed the Hawkeyes’ last five games while dealing with diabetes-related complications that resulted in the amputation of his right foot.
The Hawkeyes hoped Parker could be back for next week’s game against Michigan State, but Ferentz said Parker still is in a rehabilitation center and the Nov. 6 trip to Indiana is a more likely target date.
“Norm, has always had a battle with (diabetes),” said Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who worked for three seasons under Parker on the Iowa staff. “He was on insulin shots back then. He’s got an amazing sense of humor, no matter what the situation. I just wish him the best. And whenever he’s back out there, it will be a better thing for everybody.
• MEDICAL REPORT: Ferentz said fullback Brett Morse is expected to make his return to the lineup Saturday against Wisconsin after his string of 18 consecutive starts was snapped against Michigan.
“I think it’s realistic to think he’ll play,” Ferentz said. “He’ll practice (Tuesday) without contact and then hopefully (Wednesday he’ll) be back in full. We’re hoping to get him back. It’s a tissue thing or a muscle thing, nothing structurally.”
Ferentz said middle linebacker Jeff Tarpinian is “probably less likely” to play against the Badgers. Tarpinian was not in uniform against the Wolverines and missed parts of the previous two games while dealing with a stinger.
“It’s just taking a while to regenerate,” Ferentz said. “Hopefully, it’s coming sooner than later.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football