IOWA CITY – Jake Rudock has positioned himself to be the starting quarterback when Iowa opens its 2013 football season on Aug. 31 against Northern Illinois.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore from Weston, Fla., took the majority of the snaps during the Hawkeyes’ open practice Saturday afternoon at Kinnick Stadium. While a final decision will not be made until later this week, coach Kirk Ferentz indicated Rudock has developed a bit of an edge in a three-way battle with redshirt freshman C.J. Beathard and junior college transfer Cody Sokol.
“You could say that,’’ Ferentz said. “We’ll look at tapes, talk things over and see what happens on the field the next few days, but Jake has been doing a good job on a daily basis.’’
Rudock has not been given any indication by coaches if they have reached a decision, saying that he is just taking things one day at a time.
“They’re not really giving any of us a feel what they are thinking, so we just keep working,’’ Rudock said. “We’re in the grind of camp right now. Some days things go well, some days could be better. All you can do is come back out and keep at it.’’
None of the three candidates to replace James Vandenberg behind center has taken a snap for the Hawkeyes. Ferentz believes that Rudock, the backup a year ago, has used that experience to his benefit during the first two weeks of his third fall camp at Iowa.
“Jake has practiced with poise and he is improving, all three of them are improving,’’ Ferentz said. “It’s not like we are dissatisfied with the other two guys, either. That’s one reason I feel like another week of evaluation is important, but we will need to sit down and figure things out fairly soon.’’
Rudock, who completed 157-of-242 passes and was picked off three times while throwing for 2,827 yards and 36 touchdowns over 15 games for an unbeaten team during his senior season at St. Thomas Aquinas team in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I’m not in a position to do anything other than play football,’’ Rudock said. “I’ve been able to work a lot against our first-team defense and that has been beneficial for me. Even if I complete every pass I throw, I’m still going to find another yard or two out there if I would have went to another guy. That’s just how things work.’’
Rudock lined up against the Hawkeyes’ top defensive unit throughout Saturday’s workout, which lasted 2 hours, 30 minutes.
He received two repetitions for every one that Beathard and Sokol received — in that order — working against the second-team defense.
All had their moments.
Rudock hit Jordan Cotton with a 23-yard touchdown pass late in the workout, while Beathard struck first, hitting junior college transfer Damond Powell for a 33-yard strike on his first series.
“They’ve been running a lot of running backs and wide receivers in on a pretty regular basis, getting guys in and out, and it’s been up to us to see the matchup and make the most of who is on the field at a given point in time,’’ Rudock said.
Powell wasn’t the only newcomer to excel Saturday.
True freshman running back LeShun Daniels scored on a 2-yard touchdown run during the scrimmage and has impressed coaches with his physical running style.
“He’s had a good camp. We’ve had a few guys in and out with normal camp-type injuries and he’s made the most of it,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s looked so far like he can help us.’’