T.J. HOCKENSON SHOULD ENTER THE NFL DRAFT

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chitownhawkeye's picture

Agreed.

While I wish he would stay as a fan, assuming the pre-draft grade is like we think it is, it's time to go pro.

Either way, we're going to see more of him, it's just a question of which laundry he's wearing.

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Vanilla Gorilla's picture

This is the right answer in my opinion.  Football careers are limited to what seems to be a small window to try and maximize career earnings.  Being a high round draft pick helps that a ton!!  

He should sit out the bowl game as well.  See above for reasoning. He can take all the trips to Tampa he wants after he cashes that first NFL check.  

Celebrating horizontal football since 2011

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C.I.owA's picture

This is the ONLY answer in my opinion.

Once scissor-kicked Angela Lansbury at Moroccan casino. She knows what she did!! Best friends with Bill Brasky

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DC_HAWK's picture

If he gets a grade in the top 2 rounds, he should go.  I also agree with the Desmond King comparison, although I would argue that the reason his production decreased is because no one was throwing the ball anywhere near him.  I think that's what really hurt King's draft stock.

But this statement is not true:

Alternatively, unpaid college athletes have no insurance policies when it comes to their futures as football players.

There is a line of insurance sold for this type of loss, and my understanding is that some colleges actually pay the premiums on behalf of their players.

HIGHER ORDER THINKING AND OUTRAGE ONLY

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Mike Jones's picture

That was meant to be figurative but technically you are correct. The best kind of correct. 

Hawkeye Compliance is stalking me on Twitter.

HoyaGoon's picture

I don’t think the schools “pay” for the premiums. Instead, they are covered as a loan the athlete must repay

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.

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BunnySelfDestruct's picture

Some schools (Clemson) are pretty vocal about the players not having to pay them back for those premiums.

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HoustonHawkeye's picture

Then they should be sanctioned for NCAA violations IF the players don't pay them back.

I strongly prefer winning over losing.

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therealCatnuts's picture

Incorrect. Schools already pay large insurance premiums of all kinds related to athletics, this is one of many already confirmed as compliant by NCAA. It’s my understanding that most P5 schools pay these insurance premiums now, seeing it as an undue burden on a player to take a $100K+ premium loan while being unpaid and playing for the university. 

I spent half my life's earnings on wine, women, and song. The other half I wasted.

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HoyaGoon's picture

I stand corrected. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but kudos to the NCAA, they got this one right

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.

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tyger1147's picture

Because it allows them to keep unpaid labor. :-)

meh

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chitownhawkeye's picture

Hey, the NCAA got one right!

WOOOO

1 of 2,685,149 isn't bad, is it?

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HoustonHawkeye's picture

Only $100K?  Hell, all they need to do is write a few columns here, earn some blogbucks, and convert them to insurance premium.  Easy-peezy!

I strongly prefer winning over losing.

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DC_HAWK's picture

My understanding is that it is not an NCAA violation. Nor should it be.

HIGHER ORDER THINKING AND OUTRAGE ONLY

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tyger1147's picture

You are correct about King, definitely, but something similar can happen to Hockenson. If Iowa's next great TE is any good, and Smith and Smith-marsette and Sargeant and others improve, and if defenses focus on Hockenson, he might get up to 17ypc and still get 5 TDs... but he might also drop to 35 catches and 650-ish yards, which would "look bad."

"If your'e a star, that's not what's supposed to happen. You're supposed to get better."

meh

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DC_HAWK's picture

That's an interesting point, but I think that our passing offense could potentially be much more balanced next year.  Smith and ISM are really evolving, and it wouldn't surprise me if they start to command more attention from opposing defenses next year.  And keep an eye on Tracy--that kid looks like he could be electric.  If Hock stayed, I think it could be a really well-rounded group.  But I ultimately agree with the author here, he should probably go if he gets a grade in the top two rounds.

HIGHER ORDER THINKING AND OUTRAGE ONLY

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hawkoutleft's picture

Not to disagree with you, but I don't think TJ should listen to you...or me or anyone else other than the NFL draft board, the coaches, and his parents. I have no idea what his priorities are. Maybe it's to graduate or maybe it's to play on Sundays, but irregardless based on the intelligence he has shown, I'm sure that he'll make the best choice for himself and everyone should be happy and respectful of his decision.

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rsikes's picture

Plus he can hop like a mofo

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WaterlooChazz's picture

Hock hops.

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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therealCatnuts's picture

Worst. Beer. Ever. 

Whoever decided to put ham hocks in a beer is not my friend. 

I spent half my life's earnings on wine, women, and song. The other half I wasted.

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WaterlooChazz's picture

Sounds like a helluva soup ingredient, though.

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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IowaPharmer's picture

Who am I kidding?  I’d try it. Ham Hocks: good. Hops: even better. Especially if they made it NEIPA style.  But it can’t be artificial flavors. Just lovely pork hoppiness. I’d call it “The 38 Special”. 

"I know what I'm suggesting." -therealCatnuts

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ncthawk's picture

This opens up a fun game we can play. Are they staying or going? Note, I don't mean SHOULD they stay or go, but WILL they stay or go. Obviously this only applies to players that are actually eligible to go so no need to write about AJ. Fant is officially gone, but here are some candidates for discussion:

Hockenson
Stanley
Nelson
Hooker 
Stone

Feel free to add on if I missed anyone. Note, I'm not positive if Hooker and Stone are eligible because I am lazy and didn't confirm.

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Hawktober's picture

Stone is a true Sophomore, so he's not eligible.  Hooker is eligible, as he is a true Junior.

Other than Hockenson, I don't think it's likely anyone else leaves from this list.

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NorseHawk's picture

I could see Nelson but otherwise agreed.

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HoustonHawkeye's picture

I'd argue that Nelson will go even higher next year after he plays full-time with AJE because it'll be harder to double-team/chip him as much with a true penetrator on the other side.  Hell, if Nixon is half the myth on the field he is off it then both AJE and Nelson could look even better and go even higher than expected.

I strongly prefer winning over losing.

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HoyaGoon's picture

Alaric Jackson is a possibility 

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.

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HoustonHawkeye's picture

He may be but in name only.  He was a roller coaster at LT this year compared to the expectations that fans (and likely coaches to some extent) had for him this year.

I strongly prefer winning over losing.

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therealCatnuts's picture

He’s a multi-year LT starter for Kirk Ferentz. If he left he would 100% for sure be drafted. But it’s probably smarter for him to come back for his Jr year and try for that early-R1 grade that 4 of Kirk’s multi-year LTs have gotten. 

I spent half my life's earnings on wine, women, and song. The other half I wasted.

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HoustonHawkeye's picture

100%?  I wouldn't put it past 60-70% at the highest.  He's been far from consistently dominant thus far in college - that doesn't translate well at the next level.

I strongly prefer winning over losing.

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ReadingRambler's picture

The best defensive ends Jackson played this year were Shareef Miller and Yetur Gross-Matos from PSU.

He mostly lined up against Gross-Matos, who is a sophomore.

Gross-Matos looked like Lawrence Taylor in that game.

Not a good look when the best opponent you play absolutely abuses you. Jackson should stay.

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WaterlooChazz's picture

Jackson has an NFL body,

but his game still needs work (which is not exactly shameful.  He has only played most of 2 seasons).

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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chitownhawkeye's picture

Other than Hock and possibly Hooker, I don't think anybody had the type of season that justifies leaving early.

That being said, the correct move is to submit to the Advisory Committee.  There's no downside, if you get the Round 1 or 2 grade, go.  If not, stay.

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John Dumb Blog's picture

Hooker is an interesting case. He's not going to be a high pick but I'm not sure he can improve his status because of the position he plays. I think he'll go about the same place regardless of his play next year. Alaric Jackson also interesting. Think he is a low round pick. I think he benefits more from staying in college because he gets better coaching. If he goes to the NFL it's more of a sink or swim environment.

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Costco Card Rammin' Greg Davis's picture

I hope he stays. Please stay, T.J.!

That said, if he and Fant are both drafted in the first round, there are exactly ZERO excuses for not recruiting the best of the best tight ends to Iowa in the coming years. 

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Bohemian Grove's picture

His stock is sky high and if he feels the itch to get paid, he should definitely do it.  Not one Hawkeye fan will be upset if he stays, but he is potentially making the exact same mistake D. King did if he stays...he could have another great year too, but the chances of having an average or below average year when compared to this last one are significant.

I didn't break my leg for no shit. -Drake Kulick

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UtahHAWK's picture

Hock do what’s best for you...and Fuck Nebraska!

"Boys do what they want to do, men do what they need to do". Norm Parker

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Bohemian Grove's picture

Umm, no.  Fucking Nebraska would not be "what's best" for Hockenson.  I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

I didn't break my leg for no shit. -Drake Kulick

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Hawktober's picture

Agreed.  I hear Nebraska has chlamydia.

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UtahHAWK's picture

Nebraska does have Chlamydia, they contracted it from Council Bluffs....at least that’s what I’ve heard.

"Boys do what they want to do, men do what they need to do". Norm Parker

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HoyaGoon's picture

It really sucks as a fan that I absolutely agree that he should leave and get paid.

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.

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Give Eddie a Beer's picture

Additionally, he won’t have a better season than he did his sophomore year.

Can we at least wait for his younger brother to tweet this into a reality? 

Kirk Ferentz: "The biggest thing I have is the length. It’s going to be boring as can be."

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JRossman's picture

While I agree that he needs to do what's best for him, I'm not quite on board with one of your reasons to go. Given the amount of growth we saw from Brandon Smith this year, I could see Smith making major strides next year, thereby limiting the amount of defensive attention paid to Hockenson. Then again, BF probably won't play both at the same time all that often...

Cussin' the Hawks since 1971!

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WaterlooChazz's picture

Many people think we, as fans, should not tell a player to stay.

And so, I think we, as fans, should not tell a player to go.

I do want TJ to do what he wants to do.  But, there is good with not-as-good mixed into each possible decision.

a)  He stays at Iowa, possible injury, possibly falls in draft stock, enjoys his team-mates and coaches and Iowa City, works toward a degree, possibly pleases us as fans even more, his family gets to watch every home game in Kinnick, and maybe more reasons.

b) He goes to the NFL, gets paid, loses one less year of a pro career, still risks injury, does not fall in draft stock, enjoys new team-mates and coaches, makes new fans happy, his family will probably still get to go watch some games, and maybe more reasons.

There are two or three key points to think about, IMO. 

One, it is ever easier to complete your degree away from the physical campus of a school.   

Two, can you get onto a good NFL franchise?  Because it is probably more fun to be a TE on the Chiefs or Rams or Pats or Saints right now than it is to be one on the Raiders or the Bills or the Lions or the Giants.

Three, is the money really very huge (sorta, yes, see below***)?   

*** Here may be a comparable situation:  "Mike Gesicki signed a four-year contract with the Miami Dolphins worth $6,611,924 on June 19, 2018. Gesicki received $4,149,214 in guarantees including a $2,888,672 signing bonus. The other guaranteed portions of the contract are Gesicki's entire 2018 & 2019 salaries. Gesicki was the 42nd pick (and 2nd TE taken) in the 2018 NFL Draft."

https://overthecap.com/player/mike-gesicki/6927

So, pretend Hock is looking at about a $4 million payday (maybe a bit more or less) once drafted.  That's very nice cash.  Yes, if you live in the city you play in, the cash will get spent faster than in Iowa.  But it is still millions of dollars, that could decrease or be gone if he stays at Iowa and his stock goes down or he gets hurt badly.  I suspect Jake Duzey would love to have had a healthy shot at an NFL career.

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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Tmess89's picture

Kittle seems to be having a good time playing on a crappy team.

55-24

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WaterlooChazz's picture

Maybe.  Niners are tough to watch, though.  

And I doubt Kittle is all that happy winning 2 or 3 games per year.

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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tyger1147's picture

Nor should he be. But being drafted in the 20s means you'r eprobably playing for a better team than being picked in the single digits

meh

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WaterlooChazz's picture

True.

We'll see how they handle it.  While Kittle has been productive, he's also had to deal with 3 or 4 different QBs, too.

I guess, I'd expect Hock to handle playing for a bad NFL team, better than Fant.

Fant seemed to get frustrated here or there.  Playing on a bad team and maybe not getting the stats you want won't be good for Fant.  

We'll see about Hock.

I never wanted to Fire Ferentz. Good bye and good luck, Gary.

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Hollywood Hawk Hogan's picture

This opens up the question of whether Desmond King "made a mistake" by coming back for his senior season. While his crazy 2015 season numbers pushed him up a lot of people's draft projection boards, I'm not convinced that he would have been a first or second round pick if he came out early. The same stupid "measurables" that worked against him on 2017 ("too small" and "too slow" for the NFL) could have easily made him slip down the board in 2016, too. My suspicion is that he wouldn't have gone as high as projected had he left after 2015, because we've seen NFL teams set aside on-the-field performance in college and draft players with "measurables".

There's no way to know for sure what would have happened, but fans who follow Hawkeye players in the draft have seen this movie before. Outstanding Iowa player gets lofty draft projections from analysts who pay attention to game stats, then is stuck waiting a few extra rounds as less accomplished players are taken who are slightly faster, slightly taller, or owners of slightly less baby T-Rex arms. Iowa player makes his way onto a roster and NFL fans start saying, "Hey, this [Jonathan Babineaux/Marshall Yanda/Bob Sanders/Chad Greenaway/Brandon Myers/Christian Kirksey/Josey Jewell/Karl Klug/Micah Hyde/Desmond King/Greg Mabin/George Kittle] is pretty good! Where'd he come from???"

Fant and Hock seem atypical for Iowa players in that they seem to have just the "measurables" the League wants. My guess is that Fant (and Hock if he leaves) will actually get drafted close to where they're being projected, because they have elite athleticism so obvious that even the drooling morans who run the NFL can figure out that they're good.

CAUTION: May go on prolonged rants about Gary Barta and Bruce Harreld without warning.

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HoyaGoon's picture

I actually think Hock might not perform as well at the combine and will, as a result, have a “disappointing” showing in the underwear Olympics causing NFL scouts to drop him down a bit because they refuse to watch actual game film

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talking guy.

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ncthawk's picture

Thank you for this post. I don't know how many forum comments I've read that Desmond lost first round status because he came back for his senior year. Does anyone really believe King was told he would be a 1st rounder and still decided to come back? Only Desmond and few others know what the NFL told him but I doubt it was that he was a first round pick.

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Costco Card Rammin' Greg Davis's picture

Desmond is (and was) a classic "2nd Contract" sort of player. We all knew he would kick ass, and he has. If healthy, he will GET PAID on his 2nd contract. 

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ncthawk's picture

He's doing a good job of making all the teams that passed on him look foolish.

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Herk Whatcha Mama Gave Ya's picture

Bingo.

King was never, ever going to be a first round pick. And people need to stop perpetuating that myth.

He even said it himself that a big focus of his coming back to Iowa was to spend the year working to improve his speed. Why? Because NFL evaluators would've told him that was a big knock on his draft stock (not to mention his measureables).

He was always going to fall down teams' boards during the pre-draft process, whether he left after his junior year or senior year.

New phone, who dis?

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txhawkeye's picture

Just checked (cause caring is creepy) and TJ is 21, will be 22 next July. He needs to do what is best for him after hearing from the professional evaluators, who, thankfully, don't include that choad Goodell.  TJ, do what you want!

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Flak's picture

He should go to the NFL. And hopefully the Bears draft him.

Also... anybody else notice Daniels never says Iowa? What's up with that?

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chitownhawkeye's picture

He's wearing the gear, so I don't think he's pissed at the school. 

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ncthawk's picture

One interesting thing about TJ leaving is that this opens the door (potentially) for Drew Cook to start next year. Remember what a big deal it was that Iowa got the son of Marv Cook on the team? I know he played QB in high school and was recruited as one but he is now listed as TE. May the legend continue.

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Bohemian Grove's picture

This has probably been addressed elsewhere but here goes.  Another thing that helps TJH’s case for turning pro:  George Kittle.  He is having a fantastic year and is fresh in everyone’s minds AND is a young TE from Iowa. Hock should go pro and my guess is he gets drafted in the first three rounds and paid handsomely.  He could really parlay his success and Kittles into a great beginning to his pro career.

I didn't break my leg for no shit. -Drake Kulick

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Hawktober's picture

Kittle's recent success may very well be a factor.  It might not "officially" be a consideration, but the scouts have to be thinking things like that sometimes.  Having said that, if there wasn't already sufficient evidence that Iowa TEs can be successful in the league, then people haven't been paying attention. ;)

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rickmoranis's picture

While I want Hockenson to stay so we might have a chance to win 7 games next year, it would be wild to see to Iowa TEs go in the first two rounds of the draft.

I really, really like seeing Iowa guys do well in the NFL.

Honey, I shrunk the kids.

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Herk Whatcha Mama Gave Ya's picture

Can we all please just agree to stop it with this nonsense of telling these kids what they 'should' be doing with their lives? I don't know why this has become such a prevalent thing, but man, we just love to play decision-maker with other people's lives don't we?

This isn't that difficult.

If Hock, or anyone (even the 85th kid on Iowa's roster) would rather take a shot at pro football than they would spend another season playing in college than they 'should' do it. And if they find the appeal of another year on campus in Iowa City to be greater than the NFL experience at age 21, 22, etc., than they 'should' go ahead and stick around.

Maybe a guy really enjoys the college experience, loves his teammates, the atmosphere, playing on Saturday's. Maybe he wants another chance at a conference championship. Think you enjoyed being in college? Imagine how much more awesome it would've been if you had status as an awesome football player to go along with that.

Whatever your reason might be, it 'should' be your reason and nobody else's that counts.

Andrew Luck was a lock for the #1 overall pick. He came back to school for his RS junior season. Marcus Mariota was a guaranteed 'lottery pick' as well. He came back for his RS junior season too.

Hockenson is a top 40-60 guy by most accounts right now. If Luck and Mariota can come back and leave way more guaranteed money on the table than will be presented to Hock, why on earth would we question T.J.'s return if that would be the decision he makes?

I'll cheer for Hockenson wherever he's at, but the only thing he 'should' be doing with this decision is whatever he wants.

New phone, who dis?

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Bohemian Grove's picture

He should totally go pro.

I didn't break my leg for no shit. -Drake Kulick

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IowaPharmer's picture

@He should totally stay in [email protected]

"I know what I'm suggesting." -therealCatnuts

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willco's picture

As a Hawkeye from Chariton I really hope that it turns out to be good for Hock to stay in college.  But if you went to Iowa to play pro football and find the academics difficult I understand.  I think Hock has the smarts to be a successful graduate.  Notice I resisted the urge to talk about the fun of boffing cheerleaders.

Will

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ReadingRambler's picture

Encouraging one's players to go pro early, and go work for the National Opiate of the Masses League, is a Bolshevik thing to do. 

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