Kirk Ferentz began his coaching career as an offensive line coach back in 1981. He’s shared various stances on his current unit over the past six months, going back to February’s national signing day.

“If you look at our offensive line, we weren’t where we needed to be,” Ferentz said of last season’s unit. “The facts are when you can’t do things up front, it cascades the entire offense.”

Ferentz’s solution was being proactive in the transfer portal, acquiring Rusty Feth and Daijon Parker, who both have years of experience at non-elite powers. Now, with another year of experience under the line’s belt, things look much different.

Parker was attracted to Iowa in part because of a friendship with former Hawkeyes safety Kaevon Merriweather. Feth played for offensive line coach George Barnett at Miami of Ohio, and had a desire to play for him again.

Sophomore offensive lineman Gennings Dunker won the Solon hay bale toss, and certainly deserves recognition as a potential difference maker after appearing in 10 games as a freshman.

However, center Logan Jones was a hot topic at Big Ten Football Media Days. Jones converted from defensive line last March, and started every game at center as a sophomore.

“Logan should probably get a medal for the way he played last year,” Ferentz said.

Jones says the biggest key to a jump this season is going to be simply understanding his job.

“I’m understanding the offense a little more,” Jones said. “Last year was about going with the flow and learning as I went. This year I’m learning the concepts of everything.”

The Hawkeyes finished at the bottom of the Power 5 in nearly every offensive category. But if the key to fixing the offense starts in the trenches, it sounds like things are trending in the right direction according to Kirk Ferentz.

“We need a good month, but I think we have a chance to play at a level where it meets the standard we’re looking for.”

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