CHICAGO – Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz raised eyebrows and ruffled Minnesota feathers earlier this year when he said the Gophers, and others, don’t always walk the walk with their recruits.
Ferentz, son of Hawkeyes’ head coach Kirk, said during a Des Moines Register podcast that “the new guy in Minnesota” — that’d be new head coach P.J. Fleck — and other coaches give early offers to high school players that sometimes turn out to be just a tease. “We’ll find out about the guys in Minneapolis — what does an offer really mean?,” Ferentz said, adding that an offer from Iowa is always solid.
On Monday at Big Ten media days, Kirk Ferentz offered this about his son’s comments: “He said what he felt. His observations I think were pretty accurate. But the bottom line is, looking at three schools or 103, everybody recruits a little bit differently. Everybody has a different approach. I’m not going to stand here and be judgmental and say ours is the best way. It certainly isn’t. We haven’t won a recruiting award in the last 18 years. We’ve never finished in the top 10. But our goal still is to try to be a top 10 football team in January. That’s kind of where my focus is.”
We’ll get a chance to hear what Fleck has to say on the topic tomorrow, when Minnesota gets a stab at the spotlight along with six other schools. Asked in February about all the early recruiting offers, Fleck told the Star Tribune: “There are teams out there that offer everybody, but if you try to commit to them, they will not let you commit. Those are uncommittable offers. I don’t understand those. I am not one of those guys who has an uncommittable offer. If somebody wants to commit with our offer, they can commit.”
Recruiting generates as much news as the games in this 24/7 news cycle era, something not lost on Kirk Ferentz.
“I know recruiting is a big interest point for a lot of people,” the head coach said. “It’s become a sport, an industry. But the sport I’m still most interested in is the one that gets played in the fall. That’s where our focus is.”