March 2014

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23 S enior members of the 2013 University of Iowa football team are preparing for their future this spring. For most, that includes finish- ing a few classes before graduation, but for others it means preparing for an opportunity to join the National Football League. Following the postseason, there are several options for players to prepare for the next step in their playing career. ere are all-star games, the NFL Combine held in late February in Indianapolis, and opportunities to impress NFL scouts on campus in March and April. For the 2013 Iowa seniors, it has been a busy spring. Linebacker Christian Kirksey and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz participated in the Senior Bowl, spending a week practicing in front of NFL scouts and team officials leading up to the game. Five former Hawkeyes participated in the NFL Combine. at group included Kirksey and Fie- dorowicz, along with linebackers James Morris and Anthony Hitchens, and offensive lineman Conor Boffeli. e Combine is by invitation only. "It went well for me at the Combine, and I felt I tested well overall," said Hitchens. "ere are a cou- ple of the drills I would like to do over, and I will have a chance to do that at our Pro Day in March. "(Strength and conditioning coach) Chris Doyle had us prepared as far as the drills for linebackers. As a group we went over everything in advance. Knowing what to expect and doing those drills during our workouts here helped us in knowing what to expect. I'll continue to prepare until our Pro Day and try to improve the numbers where I might not have tested as well at the Combine." Former Hawkeyes Prepare for Future By Steve Roe Although he wasn't invited to the NFL Combine, Brett Van Sloten has still prepared for the next step in his playing career. He started every game the last two seasons at right tackle, has earned his degree, and has settled into a routine while waiting to know more about his future. "It's enjoyable to not be worrying about classes and I am happy to have my degree," said Van Sloten. "It is different not being directly associated with the football program on a daily basis. "Coach Doyle has us working out, doing drills and liing in the mornings. I make sure I am staying healthy, getting treatment for my body as needed, and then eating a healthy lunch. I have a routine that is working. It's a long race, so I am just taking one day at a time, controlling what I can control." Like many former Hawkeyes, Van Sloten trusts in the preparation provided by Doyle. "Everyone is different, but I don't pay attention to stuff on the outside," Van Sloten said. "I do what I can on a daily basis. Coach Doyle gets the most out of us and we are prepared for the next step. I have an agent and leave all the contact stuff to him. My focus is on trying to get better, working on my foot speed and getting stronger." Iowa's Pro Day in late March is the next opportunity for Van Sloten and the other Iowa players to show what they can do. "I attended last year to understand what goes on," said Van Sloten. "You want to test well and show your best, but you also have your body of work on game film. It's a combination of both."

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