The next step

IOWA CITY – ”The question” was enough for C.J. Fiedorowicz.

As Iowa’s annual football media day began to wind down, the Hawkeye tight end had even grown weary of hearing the follow-up response.

”Yeah, I’ve been asked that quite a few times,” Fiedorowicz said Thursday of the team’s three-man quarterback race, which head coach Kirk Ferentz publicly labeled a virtual dead-heat. ”I don’t want to start anything (about a frontrunner) or get into playing favorites. That’ll just cause trouble.

”To be honest, more (reporters) have asked whether or not I’m sick of that question. I’ve heard that just as much, if not more, than my thoughts on who the (actual) quarterback will be.”

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound senior is keeping close tabs on the competition between Jake Rudock, C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol. After all, Fiedorowicz is on the Mackey Award watch list for the upcoming season. With ”a little more consistency” blocking and running routes, according to offensive coordinator Greg Davis, a professional future could be awaiting Fiedorowicz.

Finding the right signal caller to replace the graduated James Vandenberg should help bridge that gap as well.

”I’m just trying to be a senior leader by my actions and make the most of everything, because this is it,” said Fiedorowicz, who had 45 catches for 433 yards last year. ”We’re all looking forward to that first game and getting (a 4-8 campaign in 2012) officially behind us. I’m sure (the quarterbacks) feel the same way – they’re ready to stop talking about it and settle it (on the field).”

WALK THE WALK: Brian Ferentz knows that the same talking points were being regurgitated over and over again on Thursday.

Iowa players and coaches are fed up with the lack of success on the field. The Hawkeyes are determined to make amends and do something about it, turning 2013 into a season of redemption. Hard work and dedication will pay off. Players will have a chip on their shoulder due to lack of preseason respect.

”You can’t just live on potential, though,” said Ferentz, the program’s offensive line and tight ends coach. ”We have to bring our words to life and make expectations become a reality now.

”At times (last season) we met those expectations. Yet at times, we weren’t even close. That lack of consistency is what caught up to us. The coaches and players have to demand constant execution first and foremost.”

Ferentz said that ”without a doubt we’re better than we were last November.” With that being said, ”I’m sure all of our opponents are as well.”

”We have to be sound fundamentally. Smart, tough, physical and well-prepared at all times – not just some of the time,” Ferentz said. ”Going forward, the work we’re willing to do will determine our level of success. And that starts with our guys up front.”

PROBLEM SOLVING: Kirk Ferentz knows that advice from any and all directions is a given – especially when a team loses the final six games of the regular season and misses a bowl game for just the second time since 2000.

”A lot of people offer up observations,” Ferentz said during his media day press conference inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. ”At this point, I’m more about finding solutions.”

Ferentz said that ”criticism comes with the territory, and so does failure.”

”It’s how you respond to those things that determines your future,” Ferentz said. ”No one goes through life undefeated. No one goes through life without trials and tribulations. You better be able to deal with the disappointment and move on. That’s what we’re trying to do here (in 2013).

”It’s been a very positive spring and summer, but we still have a lot of work to do. This is a big month.”

HOUSEHOLD NAMES: Messenger-area players are few and far between on this year’s Hawkeye roster.

Former Emmetsburg all-stater Andrew Wellik and ex-Webster City standout Boone Myers will both be with the squad as preferred walk-ons. Wellik (5-foot-10, 195 pounds) has been assigned No. 32; Myers (6-5, 250) will wear No. 52.

David Tann, who played football for St. Edmond during his freshman and sophomore seasons in high school, is a redshirt freshman wearing No. 11. Tann is listed as a 5-foot-10, 205-pound defensive back.

A graduate of Cedar Rapids Washington High, Tann’s mother and stepfather, Laura and Steve Huss, still live in Fort Dodge.