Tag:Marcus Coker
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:53 am
Edited on: January 31, 2012 12:01 pm
 

Marcus Coker transfers to Stony Brook

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Former Iowa running back Marcus Coker has found a new home, announcing on Monday that he had transferred to Stony Brook of the Big South Conference on the FCS level.

“I’m very grateful to coach [Chuck]Priore and Stony Brook University for this opportunity,” Coker said in a statement. “I’ve become aware of Stony Brook’s growing football program and outstanding academics. I’m excited for spring practice and the chance to help my teammates win a fourth straight Big South championship.” 

Coker led Iowa in rushing last season, gaining 1,384 yards on the ground and scoring 15 touchdowns for the Hawkeyes. He was suspended for the team's appearance in the Insight Bowl for violating the school's Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

Coker was being investigated for sexual assault after a woman claimed Coker assaulted her in late October. No charges were ever filed against Coker by the woman.

Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore told Newsday that he did "due diligence" in researching Coker's family and personal background and that he felt assured Coker would be a "positive role model" at Stony Brook.

Since Coker is transferring from the FBS level to the FCS level he will be eligible to play in 2012 and has two years of eligibility remaining. Two years in which he plans to finish getting his degree as a double major in physics and astronomy.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:58 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 5:11 pm
 

Iowa QB-turned-LB A.J. Derby to transfer

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Iowa's A.J. Derby, a redshirt freshman who switched from quarterback to linebacker in the middle of the 2011 season, has decided to transfer to another school, according to the Iowa athletic department. Derby was a much-ballyhooed quarterback/athlete prospect from Iowa City in the class of 2010, earning an Army All-American Game invite as a quarterback and drawing offers from schools like Florida, Alabama, and Michigan. Derby eventually selected the hometown University of Iowa, where his father John was a standout linebacker in the early '90s.

"A.J. has asked for his release, which has been granted," said head coach Kirk Ferentz in a university statement. "We are sorry to see A.J. leave the program.  He has been a positive member of our team and a pleasure to coach over the past two years.  We wish him the best as he moves forward with his career.”

"I would like to thank the University of Iowa and football coaches for the opportunity," said Derby. "Unfortunately, I don’t feel this is the best fit for me personally to reach my goals as a student-athlete. I especially wish my brother (Zach Derby, a rising senior tight end at Iowa) the best of luck in the coming year. I will miss all of my teammates, family and friends who have supported me here. Good luck to everybody. Once a hawk, always a hawk."

Derby was Iowa's second-string quarterback at the beginning of the year, beating out junior John Wienke and true freshman Jake Rudock in off-season practices, before he was arrested during the season in an alcohol-related incident. His switch to linebacker came shortly thereafter, though he did not see significant playing time on defense in 2011.

Derby joins tailbacks Marcus Coker and Mika'il McCall as Iowa transfers during this offseason, and offensive tackle Riley Reiff announced two weeks ago that he would forgo his senior year and join the NFL draft.

There have been no announcements about where Derby may transfer or whether he'll go the FBS or FCS route. If he stays in the FBS, he will need to sit out 2012 with two seasons of eligibility remaining, while he would have three years to play three seasons in the FCS.

For more up-to-the-minute Hawkeye news, subscribe to CBSSports.com's Iowa RapidReports by Brendan Stiles.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:29 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 9:37 pm
 

Marcus Coker released after assault investigation

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Iowa Hawkeyes announced on Tuesday that Marcus Coker, the sophomore tailback who led the team with 1384 rushing yards and 15 yards and was named second team All-Big Ten in 2011, had been released from his scholarship and would transfer. Coker had been suspended days before the team's Insight Bowl appearance against Oklahoma, which the Sooners won 31-14.

Iowa's announcement said that Coker had originally been suspended after violating the Student Athlete Code of Conduct, and on Tuesday, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta again declined to provide any more specifics. But an open records request by the Iowa City Press-Citizen revealed a sexual assault investigation against Coker dating from an October 28 incident at his residence.

According to that report, a woman reported to police that she was the victim of an assault at Coker’s residence, 618 Iowa Ave. The alleged assault took place sometime between 1:15-1:30 p.m. on Oct. 28.

The circumstances surrounding the assault are not detailed in the report, but it does note that the responding officer was dispatched to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a sexual assault.

Iowa City Police Lt. Doug Hart said Coker was investigated for assault. However, after conferring with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, prosecution was not pursued. Hart said the alleged victim also did not want to prosecute.

Nobody involved in the situation has indicated whether the investigation against Coker was what affected his status with the team, though the police department did say that the situation had been relayed to the Iowa athletic department, as per usual procedure.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Coker left this message on his Facebook page last week: "Everything happens for a reason..cant tell people i did something when i didnt. So hints y i never answered those questions. Anyway thanks everyone for the support especially hawknation and fam. Go hawks..hawk for life."

Freshman running back Mika'il McCall also left the Iowa program last week, so Coker's departure makes it a remarkable 12 straight running backs who have left Iowa before their senior seasons. Damian Sims, who signed with Iowa in 2004, was the last scholarship RB recruit to play four full seasons with the Hawkeyes.

Kirk Ferentz is unavailable for comment, according to the university.

For more breaking news on this situation and the rest of the Iowa Hawkeyes, read the CBSSports.com Iowa RapidReports by Brendan Stiles.

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Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:11 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 31, Iowa 14



Posted by Adam Jacobi

OKLAHOMA WON. It took longer to put away than the Sooners would have expected, but Oklahoma topped Iowa, 31-14, in the 2011 Insight Bowl. Landry Jones threw for his first touchdown since All-American WR Ryan Broyles went down with a torn ACL against Texas A&M on November 5, and short-yardage specialist QB Blake Bell rushed for three touchdowns on the day to help make Oklahoma's lead insurmountable.

HOW OKLAHOMA WON: Perhaps the complexion of the game would have been different if Iowa still had starting tailback Marcus Coker, who was suspended before the game for an unspecified conduct code violation. Alas, the Hawkeyes did not, and as a result the offense sputtered as it featured true freshman Jordan Canzeri instead. With Iowa struggling to move the ball, Oklahoma took a 21-0 lead into the fourth quarter, and although the Hawkeyes rallied late to push the score to 21-14 with about seven minutes left, OU slammed the door shut late.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON: As mentioned before, the game appeared well in hand when Oklahoma led by three scores going into the fourth quarter. Iowa QB James Vandenberg came alive with a shift in offensive strategy in the second half, though, and it took a Michael Hunnicut field goal with 2:28 left to push the lead back to 10 points and effectively silence the Iowa rally. 

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON: There was no shortage of disappointment for Oklahoma to go from legitimate national championship contenders to Insight Bowl participants in the span of about a month, and the Sooners' extremely slow start on offense (7 yards in the first quarter) seemed to reflect that. But the Sooner offense gained momentum and finished strong to leave no doubt who the better team was in this game. That's an important reassurance for the players as they head into the offseason, and with a little help from some teams higher in the ranking, OU might even be able to parlay this win into a Top 10 finish just yet.

WHAT IOWA LOST: Iowa lost this game as soon as Coker was suspended, and the fact that Canzeri managed about three yards a carry even with a pretty good performance by his offensive line should drive that fact home. OU's defensive front was ripe for giving up a big day, and that just didn't happen when Iowa didn't have a legitimate tailback to run the ball. Still, Iowa's effectiveness throwing the ball out of the spread in the fourth quarter just underscored how futile it was to give the 172-pound Canzeri over 20 rushes (including 13 in the first quarter) and left Hawkeye fans wondering why Iowa spent so much time running a conservative offense in the first three quarters.

THAT WAS CRAZY: With 2:22 left in the fourth quarter as Iowa prepared for its first play from scrimmage on its last drive, ESPN's SkyCam unexpectedly fell to the field. And while the camera itself was never in danger of hitting any players, the wires on which the camera moves through the air nearly decapitated Marvin McNutt and three other Iowa players. Watch the insane video here.

BONUS CRAZY: On the drive that would end in the aforementioned Hunnicut field goal, OU faced a key 3rd down near midfield, and gave the ball to fullback Trey Millard. Millard went off-tackle right into the path of big-hitting safety Jordan Bernstine, who went low to take out Millard's legs. The result, as seen in the picture at the top, was a beautiful hurdle from Millard and a first-down run, and OU wouldn't look back for the rest of the game.

FINAL GRADE: D+. There wasn't much drama in this game, and neither team was at full strength in its offensive skill positions. As a result, neither team gained even 300 yards -- Iowa actually outgained OU, 292-275, as a matter of fact -- and all the fireworks were limited to pregame introductions. Hard to justify staying up late for this one.

Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:22 am
 

Keys to the Game: Insight Bowl, Iowa vs. Oklahoma

Posted by Adam Jacobi

IOWA WILL WIN IF: Oklahoma feels like loaning the Hawkeyes a few starters, especially one at RB. Iowa faced long, long odds in this game even with its backfield at full strength. Now, starting RB Marcus Coker -- second only to Montee Ball among Big Ten RBs in rushing yards and touchdowns -- has been suspended and will not join the team at the Insight Bowl, and top backup Mika'il McCall was also suspended before the Nebraska game and will also not join the team. Iowa had a chance to pull an upset here with a running game to fall back on; now, QB James Vandenberg's going to have to basically carry the offense, and that's not a recipe for success.

OKLAHOMA WILL WIN IF: The pass rush on the edge continues its dominance. Oklahoma is seventh nationally in sacks per game at just over three per, and defensive ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis are a big part of that; the two players lead the Sooners in sacks and have combined for 14 on the year, but the beauty of Oklahoma's pass rush is its ability to get production out of its blitzers. 15 out of the 37 sacks racked up by the Sooners this year have come from the back seven, often from the edge, and that's precisely where Iowa has faced its most difficulty picking up blitzes when they've come from outside rather than up the middle. So being that Iowa's not going to keep OU on its heels with an effective running game, the Sooners should be prepared to pin their heels back on the outside and tee off with the pass rush.

THE X-FACTOR: Motivation. Oklahoma spent most of the season as a legitimate national championship contender, so to slide this far and end up in a December bowl against a 7-5 opponent like Iowa is probably going to have a deleterious effect on Oklahoma's ability to get motivated for this game. Additionally, Iowa just slodged through its most mediocre season since 2007 and already played in the Insight Bowl last year. So between those two factors, it's easy to envision that players on both sides might have a tougher time than usual getting up for this game. As such, whichever team blocks out the distractions and puts together good, honest hard work in preparation for this game is probably going to have an early edge. Bowl teams from BCS conferences are generally good enough to beat any opponent that isn't adequately prepared or motivated for the game, but there's really no telling who holds the edge here.

Keep up with all the latest on Oklahoma and Iowa at the Insight Bowl Pregame.

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Iowa RB Coker suspended for Insight Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Marcus Coker, Iowa's leading rusher on the season, will not be joining the team as it travels to the Insight Bowl to face Oklahoma on December 30. The school announced on Tuesday that Coker had been suspended from the team after violating an unspecified policy in the school's Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

Coker was the workhorse of the Iowa offense in 2011, rushing 281 times for 1384 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 157 yards. Coker led the Hawkeyes in rushing in each of their last 11 games, and ranked second in the Big Ten in rushing yards (behind Montee Ball) while placing third in rushing touchdowns (behind Ball and Denard Robinson).

Incidentally, it was a teammate's suspension going into the Insight Bowl in 2010 that gave Coker the breakout performance of his freshman year. With starter Adam Robinson suspended after "failing to comply with team policies," Iowa turned to Coker in its game against Missouri, and Coker responded with a scintillating performance: 33 carries, 219 yards, two touchdowns, and several broken tackles.

The Hawkeyes' first option at tailback in Coker's place would have been freshman Mika'il McCall, but McCall was suspended for the team's season finale at Nebraska for a violation of team rules and remains suspended, according to the Iowa athletic department. Additionally, even if McCall had been eligible to participate, he suffered a serious ankle injury in the season opener against Tennessee Tech; since the injury he has seen two carries -- the second of which was a lost fumble.

So without its top two running backs, Iowa has De'Andre Jackson, a redshirt freshman who has rushed for 79 yards on 18 carries in mop-up duty, and the athletic but smallish true freshman Jordan Canzeri, who has nine rushes for 56 yards. Damon Bullock, another true freshman, has rushed for 22 yards on eight carries, but seven of those came against Louisiana-Monroe and he has not seen action at RB since. Iowa may also turn to walk-on junior Jason White, who has split time between safety and running back in his time at Iowa and has three rushes for 12 yards this season. 



Get all the latest updates on Iowa and Oklahoma at the Insight Bowl Pregame. 

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Big Ten announces 2011 individual award winners

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On Monday evening, the Big Ten announced its full slate of conference award winners -- the first such slate since the Big Ten added the trophies in addition to expanding to 12 teams and two divisions.

Here's a breakdown of all the trophies handed out by the Big Ten:

Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
ADAM SAYS: Wilson's resume this year is undeniably brilliant, and he's going to be in line for some national postseason recognition after finishing first nationally in passer efficiency. Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, shouldered one of the conference's worst rushing attacks and still finished third in the Big Ten in efficiency and emerged as a solid ambassador for the program, conference, and sport. From a strictly on-field standpoint, Wilson deserves this award to himself, but the Big Ten named its divisions "Legends" and "Leaders"; surely it won't turn around and say its trophies should be restricted to strict on-field accomplishments, will it? All of which is to say, I'd rather the conference had thrown Cousins a bone and split this award between Wilson and him. Wilson would have been an even bigger snub than Cousins, but they're both highly deserving of recognition.

Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year: Marvin McNutt, Iowa
ADAM SAYS: McNutt basically rewrote Iowa's receiving record books, and he looked at times like the best player on either side of the ball for the Hawkeyes this year. That he was left off the list of 10 Biletnikoff finalists is a joke. Illinois' A.J. Jenkins was a strong contender here, but his inability to get into the end zone even once during the Illini's six-game slump seals his fate as an also-ran. 

Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
ADAM SAYS: Rex BurkheadMarcus Coker, and Silas Redd all had admirable efforts this year, but c'mon. Could this trophy possibly go to anybody else? With 1,622 rushing yards (1,870 total from scrimmage) and 34 total touchdowns, Ball is third on my list of 2011 Heisman candidates and far and away the best running back in the Big Ten this year. 

Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year: Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern
ADAM SAYS: 43 catches for 509 yards and six touchdowns is a great year for a tight end (or superback, as it would be), and to do so in a season with three different quarterbacks seeing significant action is an even better accomplishment. Dunsmore was one of the three or four best TE in the nation this year and a deserving winner of the Kwalick-Clark Trophy.

Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year: David Molk, Michigan
ADAM SAYS: If this award were given to entire offensive lines (which I would not mind), it would have to go to Wisconsin. At any rate, though, coming into the season, Ohio State's All-American Mike Brewster was the highest-profile center in the conference. It was Molk, however, who showed the most leadership and mashery over the course of the season. Hopefully, this award translates into All-American attention for Molk; he deserves it for the job Michigan did pushing the line of scrimmage forward on offense this year.

Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year: Devon Still, Penn State
ADAM SAYS: Illinois' terror at DE, Whitney Mercilus, would be the strongest contender for this award if Illinois hadn't collapsed down the stretch, but even that collapse is hardly on the aptly-named Mercilus; he led the nation in sacks and forced fumbles on the year (if Tyrann Mathieu is the honey badger for his six forced fumbles, what does that make Mercilus with nine? Galactus?). Devon Still was an absolute beast for Penn State, though, and his presence affected opposing game plans all season long. A split between Still and Mercilus would have been ideal.

Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year: Lavonte David, Nebraska
ADAM SAYS: Lavonte David's been even better than I thought he'd be this year, and he was my top preseason linebacker in the conference. No-doubter here. Look for Wisconsin's Chris Borland to be the leading candidate for this award next year; the former Big Ten defensive freshman of the year was strong in his return from a torn ACL this season, and he's got two more years of eligibility.

Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year: Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
ADAM SAYS: Purdue CB Ricardo Allen is the only guy who could make a decent case for being snubbed here, but Dennard turned this defense into an absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He deserves this award.

Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year: Brett Maher, Nebraska
ADAM SAYS: The fact that Maher was snubbed for Lou Groza consideration despite missing zero kicks from 50 yards and in this year is an absolute travesty the likes of which we haven't seen since... well, last year, when Nebraska kicker Alex Henery was also snubbed from Groza finalist consideration despite being pretty obviously the best kicker in college football. Maher's bona fides aren't as strong as Henery's, but he's still the best kicker in the Big Ten and should have been named a Groza finalist all the same.

Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year: Brett Maher, Nebraska
ADAM SAYS: Oh, stop showing off, Nebraska.
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Michigan State at Iowa

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

MICHIGAN STATE WILL WIN IF: the defense from their first eight games shows up. The Spartans are still ranked second in the nation in total defense, still third in yards allowed per-play at a miserly 4.1 a snap. But whether due to Nebraska-related hangover, random off-week, or start of a legitimate downward trend, the Spartans didn't play much like the nation's second-best last week vs. Minnesota. Facing the FBS's 108th-ranked offense, the Spartans allowed 415 total yards, 24 points, more than 8 yards a pass attempt (to MarQuies Gray!) and -- most damningly -- allowed three different scoring drives of 80 yards or more. If the Spartans who shut down Denard Robinson and made Ohio State utterly toothless and harassed Wisconsin show up, the Hawkeyes likely don't have enough firepower to overcome that. But if the Spartans who let the Gophers have the run of their own home field show up, Marcus Coker and James Vandenberg can do a lot more damage than Gray and Co. did.

IOWA WILL WIN IF: Vandenberg throws for more than eight yards an attempt. To date for the Hawkeyes, it really has been that simple: in the three games where Vandenberg has failed to reach that benchmark, Iowa is 0-3. (That includes the Minnesota shocker where Coker ran for 252 yards, all for naught.) In the six games in which Vandenberg has thrown for eight yards or more a try, Iowa is a perfect 6-0. So what are his chances vs. the Spartans? Not great, you wouldn't think--the Spartans rank sixth in the country with only 5.7 yards allowed per opponent's pass, and rank in the top 10 in pass defense statistics (yards per-game, opposing QB rating, completion percentage, etc.) across the board. But Coker should give Vandenberg some leeway to work with, he'll be at home, and the Spartans are coming off their worst defensive outing of the season. There's plenty of hope.

THE X-FACTOR: Nile Kinnick Stadium. It was just last year the Spartans rolled into Iowa City undefeated and ranked fifth in the nation, and left it sporting a nasty 37-6 shiner on the part of the Hawkeyes. Unfortunately for State, that wasn't exactly a fluke where their long-term performance trend at Kinnick is concerned: they haven't won there since 1989 and have dropped seven straight in that span. That's a lot of hoodoo for this year's Spartans to overcome.
 
 
 
 
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