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Published: Sunday, 10/1/2006

Iowa finds gems by recruiting in Ohio

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

IOWA CITY, Iowa - When Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz went shopping for some athletic talent to inject into his Hawkeyes program, he ended up at the same outlet where Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has found some of his best bargains.

Ferentz came to Ohio looking for future stars, and he thinks he found a couple at Glenville High School in Cleveland, the same school that produced Ohio State's two current Heisman trophy candidates - quarterback Troy Smith and wide receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn Jr.

Arvell Nelson is a freshman quarterback at Iowa who likely won't play this season, but the 6-4, 175-pounder could figure in the Hawkeyes' plans over the next four years. Nelson and freshman defensive back Derrick Smith are both Glenville products, and Ferentz was pleased to land them from Buckeye land.

"Ohio is one of the best high school football states in the country," Ferentz said.

"I can't give you the numbers, but the quality of the football compares with any state. They are the Ohio State University. There are no other Division I schools in the state that they compete with. They've got a huge advantage there. I haven't studied their roster recently, but the percentage of Ohio players that they start with in their recruiting base gives them a huge advantage."

Nelson was a second team All-Ohio selection last year as a senior, and he finished his career with 4,203 passing yards and 47 touchdowns. Smith was a three-time letter-winner in both football and track at Glenville.

DRESSED UP: Iowa's Kinnick Stadium got to show off its makeover yesterday in front of a national television audience. Just prior to the start of the 2006 season, Iowa completed a two-year, $86.5 million renovation of Kinnick. The stadium opened in 1929 and has a current capacity of 70,585. It is named after Nike Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner and the only Hawkeye to win the most-prized award in college football.

DON'T TREAD ON ME: Ohio State's young defense has been surprisingly stout against the run. Until last night, OSU had not allowed a rushing touchdown. Ohio State allowed only 32 points in its first four games and led the Big Ten in scoring defense.

LONGEST STREAK: Ohio State owns the longest winning streak in the nation in Division I-A at 12 games. The Buckeyes took over the longest streak when Texas Christian had its 13-game winning streak stopped with a 31-17 loss to BYU on Thursday. The Buckeyes have not lost since Oct. 8 last year at Penn State.



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