Friday, August 23, 2013

Iowa names sophomore Jake Rudock opening game starter

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jake Rudock didn't take a snap as a back up quarterback to James Vandenberg in 2012.  Now, ever move will be scrutinized by the Hawkeye nation, as the man entering as QB in 2013.

Thus is the life of a quarterback moving from backup to starter.

"I said last year I thought it was so strange how the backup is always the most famous guy," Rudock said Friday in an exclusive interview with "It doesn't make sense, but hey, everyone wants to see someone else step up, that's how it is."

Rudock, on Friday, was named the starting signal-caller for the University of Iowa, emerging in a highly-contest and closely-watched three-person race that also included junior Cody Sokol and redshirt freshman C.J. Beathard.

"It made you have to work harder to keep going and understanding you have guys on your heals," said Rudock, a sophomore. "You can't take anything lightly and each play matters."

Vandenberg took every snap for the Hawkeyes during the 2012 season, completing 57 percent of his passes for 2,249 yards and seven touchdowns.

Rudock's high school resume is long and impressive. A native of Weston, Fla., Rudock led St. Thomas Aquinas to a 15-0 record and district, regional, and national championships in 2010. He holds school single-game records for passing yards (333) and touchdowns (five) and single-season records for passing yards (2,827) and touchdowns (36).

Rudock was second on the depth chart last season, studying behind Vandenberg. Now it's is his turn to lead the Hawkeyes.

"I was very happy (when I heard the news)," Rudock said. "That's what you want to hear. You want to be the guy and you want to be able to go out there and play football. You're excited as you can be, but at the same time there is a long road ahead and you have to keep working, take it game-by-game, and keep going."

Rudock may be a new starter, but he will have some experience to draw on in the offensive unit in 2013.  The defense and special team have even more experience for Iowa heading into 2013.

Iowa's projected returning starters on offense include: left tackle Brandon Scherff, right tackle Brett Van Sloten, center Austin Blythe (moved from guard), tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, running back Mark Weisman and wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley. The returning defensive starters include: linemen Dominic Alvis and Louis Trinca-Pisat, linebackers Christian Kirksey, Anthony Hitchens and James Morris, and defensive backs B.J. Lowery and Tanner Miller. PK Mike Meyer, punter Connor Kornbrath, kickoff returner Jordan Cotton and long snapper Casey Kreiter also return.

Among the returning starters, 10 started every game in 2012. Kirksey has started 25 consecutive games over the last two seasons, while Tanner Miller has started 23 straight and Fiedorowicz has started 17 straight.

Iowa's preseason depth chart includes 14 seniors, 12 of which are projected as starters (includes placekicker and long snapper). Iowa`s 14 seniors listed on the preseason depth chart have started a combined 204 games. Iowa's 13 juniors have started 35 total contests, while its 21 sophomores have started 27.

Iowa opens the season at home Aug. 31 against Northern Illinois with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on the Big Ten Network. It is the annual "Be Bold, Wear Gold" game.

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