Quarterback is the most important position in all of sports.
Which is why, as today marks the first day of spring practice for the Iowa football team, there is a particularly concerning gap on the Hawkeyes’ roster.
Sure, Jake Rudock is No. 1 on the depth chart. He was the No. 2 signal-caller in 2012, and garnered several accolades coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida. The sophomore-to-be also figures to have the most intangibles to take over the position.
But it’s March. A lot can happen between now and when the toe hits the leather in August and the games begin.
So what’s the concern?
Iowa was the only program in the FBS in 2012 to have just one quarterback take snaps. James Vandenberg labored his way to one of the statistically worst seasons in school history, guiding the Hawkeyes to a 4-8 record and the first non-bowl game year since 2007. They were near the bottom of the national rankings in passing offense (187 yards per game), touchdown passes (7), yards per attempt (5.8), and pass efficiency (107.72).
Did the coaches not feel comfortable putting Rudock in game action? Not even in the fourth quarter against Penn State, a game in which the Hawkeyes trailed 31-0 after three periods?
If Rudock truly wasn’t ready, that’s not good, and seemingly opens up the competition at QB this spring and summer despite Rudock being listed as the No. 1 guy.
Junior college transfer Cody Sokol and redshirt freshman C.J. Beathard will get opportunities to prove themselves, as offensive coordinator Greg Davis enters his second season in Iowa City with some new personnel not only the roster but also within the coaching staff.
Sokol has a lot of upside as well, at 6-2 and 205 pounds. He put up video game-like numbers at Scottsdale Community College: 3,807 yards and 43 touchdowns his sophomore season.
Today’s college football world calls for the QB to have a tremendous knowledge of the system, mobility, and accuracy.
Iowa has five months and perhaps the non-conference season to find that player.
Otherwise, count on another four-win year.