Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says all 13 of the players who were hospitalized with Rhabdomyolysis have been cleared to take part in spring drills. The condition caused the player’s muscle tissue to break down after a heavy offseason workout that involved lower body exercises.
Ferentz says they will work the players up slowly in the first four practices and they will continue to be monitored throughout the year.
The same workout had been used in the past and Ferentz says there is still no answer as to why so many players were affected. He says they still don’t know exactly what happened, as the exercise was the cause, but they don’t know why all the other players who went through the workout before did not have the same problem.
Ferentz says while he is happy a report issued to the Board Of Regents does not blame the players or show any “ill intent by the staff”, he was hoping it would determine an underlying cause. He says it would have been great to find out what caused the injury, just like any other injury. Ferentz says the workout will not be used in the future.
When it comes to the actual spring workouts, Ferentz says junior James Vandenberg is the leading candidate to replace Ricky Stanzi as the Hawkeyes’ starting quarterback. The Keokuk native started the final two games of the 2009 season when Stanzi was sidelined by an ankle injury.
Ferentz says Vandenberg is the most experienced and they have seen him do a lot of good things in practice and have had a chance to watch him extensively. Ferentz says Vandenberg has plenty of competition from John Weinke and A.J. Derby. Ferentz says Derby will compete for the job at quarterback and is not going to be moved to another position.
He says the recruited him as a quarterback and they wanted to see how he progressed, and says Derby wants to compete for the quarterback job. Ferentz says Derby has a lot of upside and if he is not the starter down the road, then the question is will he play special teams. He says Derby could have helped on special teams last year, but it was not wise to take off his redshirt for that.