IOWA CITY — Defensive coordinator Norm Parker still is not back with the Iowa football team.
Although Parker attended last Saturday’s game with Michigan State and was at the Hawkeyes’ pregame meal the week before against Wisconsin, it will be at least another week before he gets back to coaching.
“He will not travel this week,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I think we’re probably anywhere from like five to eight days, based on what I know, before he comes home. We’re gaining ground.”
Parker has been apart from the team since Sept. 10, when he was hospitalized for complications because of diabetes. He ultimately had a foot amputated and still is learning how to use a prsthesis.”
“I think we’re getting real close to him coming back home,” Ferentz added. “The next step will be getting him in the office a couple hours a day … But he won’t be here Saturday.”
JULIAN’S OK: Iowa guard Julian Vandervelde, from Davenport, suffered a minor leg injury against Michigan State but said it was nothing serious.
“I tried to cut a guy (Antonio Jeremiah) who is listed at
6-foot-5, 360 pounds,” Vandervelde explained. “I’ll go on record right now as saying he’s not 6-5, 360. He’s a little bigger than that. It probably was not a good guy to cut. I’m just glad he didn’t land on top of me. It hurt enough as it is.”
POLL-SHY: Vandervelde, known as one of most cerebral players on the Iowa team, said he didn’t think he would get out to vote Tuesday. He said he had some important video games he had to play instead.
“I’m waiting for a guy who picks someone from the other party to be his vice-presidential candidate,” he said. “That’s the guy I’ll vote for.”
MORE OF MARCUS?: Ferentz said the plan the past few weeks was to find more playing time for freshman running back Marcus Coker, and he finally did it against Michigan State. Coker carried 16 times for 40 yards.
“We’re going to need him down the road,” Ferentz said. “We’ll just keep pushing him forward … He’s doing a better job in practice. He missed time (because of a broken clavicle). That was the only thing. He missed that big block of practice time. He’s getting caught up.”
UNSELFISHNESS: Ferentz said the play last Saturday in which safety Tyler Sash pitched the ball back to teammate Micah Hyde, resulting in a spectacular 66-yard touchdown return, “looked as good on tape as it did Saturday.
“Not quite sure why he did it, but it worked out fine,” Ferentz added. “Somebody alluded to Tyler’s basketball career. I told you before, I saw him (play basketball) in sixth grade, seventh grade. He wasn’t throwing many assists back then. If the ball went to him, it stayed there.”
SASH IN SEMIS: Sash was named Tuesday as one of 10 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back in the country. It’s the second year in a row he has made the list. Sash, who is fifth on Iowa’s career list with 13 interceptions and first with 392 return yards, is one of only two Big Ten players among the semifinalists. The other one is Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa.