Mark Farley has always felt he could win a national championship at the University of Northern Iowa as long as he did a good job of recruiting within the state. More than half of the players on the roster are native Iowans and they serve as the backbone of the program. He says some of those Iowa players have been on campus for three or four years, and they are the ones to give the extra push or drive to the program.

Farley says the dedication of the local products rubs off on the players who come in from out of state. He says the players from out of the state actually push the team over the top as they come in and feel the core and ownership.

Farley says having so many native Iowans on the team has meant added interest in the program. He says he got some e-mails from people who say they’re Hawkeye fans and always will be, but they’re rooting for U-N-I in this game. He says he gets the same thing from Cyclone fans and he says that’s because of the Iowa kids and everyone can root for them. The Panthers play Appalachian State tomorrow night for the 1-AA championship.