Indeed, good news out of New Orleans today as Ferentz joins the Saints, most likely for a stint on the practice squad or something. Even though it's highly unlikely that Ferentz overtakes perpetual grump Jeff Faine as the starting center, well, the fact that we're even talking about Ferentz right now is in and of itself a minor miracle.
First of all, Brian Ferentz wasn't always a lock for Iowa. He was recruited during the 2000 season, when Iowa was in the midst of a 4-19 start to Kirk Ferentz's career. When Brian's name came up in recruiting, most Iowa fans' reactions were to hope Kirk pays Brian's way rather than "waste" a scholarship on a kid whose only other offers were to Northern Illinois and Kirk's buddy Bill Snyder at KSU. "Nepotism!" they cried. "Tomfoolery!" Luckily, Kirk recused himself from whether or not to offer Brian a scholarship, and assistant Reese Morgan saw fit to do so.
Once he actually got on the field, life...continued to suck. Ferentz was hampered by knee injuries during his freshman (left ACL) and sophomore (right PCL) years. That'd be unpleasant enough, but a staph infection after one of seven knee surgeries brought the future of not only his career but his leg itself into jeopardy. He only recovered after they took out part of his motherfucking knee. And by "recovered," I mean he was back on the field 8 months later. Starting at center.
Luckily, Brian Ferentz's career was just as defined by injury as it was great play: he started his last 20 games, earned honorable mention all-Big Ten, and was named Permanent Team Captain as a senior. It's safe to say that his is a career that all Hawkeye fans can appreciate. Here's to hoping his spot on New Orleans' roster is just as "wasted" as his scholarship was here.