2013 Hawkeye Predictions: Who Will be Iowa QB?
We will toss out a few ’2013 Hawkeye Predictions’ over the course of the next few days. I felt this first topic was a good way to lead things off; the quarterback battle.
Iowa 2013 Quarterback Will Be: By the end of the season, I will predict that CJ Beathard takes the most snaps at quarterback. Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register offered up the same prognostication back in mid December and cited Beathard winning a team leader award.
Here is what I think I know; Beathard has the best arm on the team, he has a presence that everyone can see and can’t be taught and most people I know with access to practices, coaches and other sources I have all feel that Beathard is going to at least enter spring practice as the quarterback the coaches expect to emerge as the starter. Whether or not he grasps the brass ring at that point, we’ll see. This winter will be important for him from a physical standpoint as he needs to add some pounds to his 180-pound frame.
If you try to reverse engineer what we saw (or didn’t see) from Iowa this year with regards to James Vandenberg taking every snap and juxtapose it against the Beathard information, things make a little more sense. In September and October, I heard these three things consistently from different sources:
1. Jake Rudock was not yet ready to play
2. Iowa probably didn’t really know who its #2 was at that time
3. If Vandenberg had gotten hurt early, either Sokol or Beathard’s redshirt likely would have been burned
As for #2, Ed Podolak said that on the air with me on ‘Soundoff’. Having done a dozens of radio shows with Ed as well as numerous interviews, I glean as much from what he chooses not to say in some situations than what he does say.
Some of you are going to read this and come to the conclusion that Rudock isn’t good enough, or he is going to be a flop; check yourself. He’s a redshirt freshman who still has three years of eligibility left. This is the stage of a player’s career where they can make exponential improvements year to year. Kirk Ferentz repeatedly cites his opinions on the 1987 Iowa quarterback battle in spring and fall camp and says that he felt that out of the three QB’s, Chuck Hartlieb would have been #3. Hartlieb wound up winning the job after a game or two and became arguably the most prolific pure passer in Iowa history.
Cody Sokol seems like a slinger…he has an unorthodox delivery whereas Beathard is more of a ‘natural’. From what I have seen of Rudock, he has been robotic; you can tell he’s had throwing coaches in the past and his delivering is repeatable, but it almost seems like he loses strength/velocity somewhere in the mix. Where I was impressed with the limited looks we saw of him as a freshman (practices), those looks this year were not as crisp. But that is a very, very low exposure rate, far too low to make any real judgement.
All three quarterbacks are going to get their shot. I’m just telling you what I have heard and that if his were a horse race, the money would be on Beathard to win and it has as much to do with his skill set and upside, which people are very excited about.
Oh and PS: I have never communicated with CJ or his father in any form or fashion, just in case you’re wondering (wink)