Iowa’s first road trip to Ann Arbor since 2012 will be a homecoming for at least a half-dozen Hawkeyes.
“I have a lot of family coming to the game, so you know, you just want to play your best,” Iowa senior defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore said.
“My brother played there, so I’ve been to a couple of games there just watching him,” Iowa senior defensive back Michael Ojemudia said.
Iowa’s pipeline to Michigan was built by defensive coordinator Phil Parker. Head coach Kirk Ferentz says finding under-the-radar players has produced the two decades of recruiting success.
“Not 100 percent, but usually the home state schools don’t offer guys that we recruit out of state,” Ferentz said. “You’ve got to find something there that we think will mesh well with our program.”
Ojemudia is one of those players. The Hawkeyes senior is relishing the chance to finally play close to home.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in front of my family and my friends,” Ojemudia said. “We’re gonna play in a lot of big games this year, but this is definitely gonna be our biggest test up to date.”
Many of the Michigan natives weren’t recruited by the maize and blue. Lattimore says that’s extra motivation in a game of this magnitude.
“It’s a little chip on my shoulder,” Lattimore said. “You know, I think everybody in this program right now, Iowa program, we got a little chip on our shoulder. We just wanna come out and just set the tone.”
“When I came here, it was their first year with Harbaugh, so it was kind of the transition between Hoke to Harbaugh,” Ojemudia said. “You know, I’m a little familar with them, but it’s gonna be a good opportunity just to go there.”
Iowa could get a couple more Michigan natives back in their lineup on Saturday. Ferentz said earlier this week that both Kaevon Merriweather and Alaric Jackson have been practicing. He’s hopeful they’ll be ready to play at Michigan Stadium.
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