Jake Rudock is seemingly settling in at Michigan. Iowa's starting quarterback the past two seasons told The Detroit News that he is adjusting to his new home and finding himself in a familiar position -- competing for a starting job. "I want to play, that's the biggest thing,'' Rudock told the publication. "Every guy who's in that locker room wants to go out there and play. I had to compete every single year at Iowa, so this is very similar in that regard. Big Ten football, you've got to earn everything you get. It's just the name of the game, that's how football is.'' Rudock arrived on the Michigan campus the day after he picked up his diploma at Iowa. As a graduate transfer, he knew he had learn and learn quickly because there is no shortage of quarterbacks in the Wolverines program. Shane Morris is the only one who has ever taken a snap in a game for Michigan, but Rudock finds himself as one six quarterbacks on the roster, most angling for an opportunity. During a break a high school quarterback camp hosted by Michigan last weekend, Rudock told The Detroit News that he has spent his time in Ann Arbor trying to get to know his teammates and figure out what makes each tick. "Every guy responds differently. Some guys need a little encouragement, some guys need a little kick in the butt,'' Rudock said, adding "all the guys have been really receptive. Everyone wants to win here.'' Rudock told the News he is settling into his new surroundings, preparing to compete for a starting job for a team he once competed against. He described the first week as "weird,'' but said his initial transition seems to be reinforcing the decision he made once C.J. Beathard was elevated to the top of the Hawkeye depth chart. "I still have great friendships at Iowa,'' Rudock said. "... Never thought (I'd) transition schools, but now I'm feeling a lot more comfortable definitely with the guys and the city and just with the team as a whole.''
Archive for June, 2015
The Big Ten's annual football kickoff is a little over a month away, signaling that the start of the season can't be far behind. Coach after coach will stand behind the podium and talk about the potential he sees in his team for the upcoming season. Everybody will be a champion, at least until the first game kicks off. That's the way of the world now, but it hasn't always been that way. Turn back the clock to 1939. Eddie Anderson was preparing his team for its season opener against South Dakota and the Hawkeyes' new coach was blunt in assessing what he saw on the practice field. "Iowa's 1939 football is not likely to be a great team, but it is going to play football,'' Anderson told The Daily Iowan a little over 10 days before his team played its first game. A copy of that paper made its way into the Times' office this week, the byproduct of Karl Hickerson of Davenport cleaning up around the house and deciding to dispose of some old papers that were edited by his father, Loren Hickerson. That 1939 team that did not impress its coach went on to be known as Iowa's famed Ironman, noted for its lack of depth but quality. The team finished 6-1-1 and was led of course by the Hawkeyes' only Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick. Oscar Hargrave, the Daily Iowan sports editor at the time, encouraged fans to be patient with the new system that Anderson was introducing that season. "So don't expect too much of the Hawkeyes in 1939. But also don't think they will not give some of their favored opponents terrific fights, with maybe a surprise or two along the line,'' Hargrave wrote. "Iowa should play good, sound football, perhaps with a touch of the spectacular at times. Whether it will be good enough to cope with the high caliber of the opposition will be answered by the proceedings on the Saturday afternoons.'' Two months later, the university president was calling off classes to celebrate Iowa's first win in a decade over Minnesota -- referred to as the "Northern Invaders'' in headline type. By then, the Hawkeyes had earned their "Iron-Man'' nickname and the words used to describe a 13-9 win in Iowa's home finale say it all. "In Iowa's gigantic stadium, packed with 50,000 nerve-shattered human beings, only the scoreboard could tell without emotion that the Hawkeyes had turned back the golden blizzard of the northland with two unforgettable aerial raids in the closing moments,'' Hargrave wrote. Anderson's preseason crystal ball proved to be somewhat inaccurate that season - and as interesting and unlikely as it would be for a coach today to tell people not to expect anything from his team - it does illustrate one the reasons sports holds the intrigue of the populace. Until the games are played, you just never know what might happen.