IOWA CITY — Kirk Ferentz is finding a lot to like in Logan Lee, including the way he has embraced a new challenge at defensive tackle.
The Iowa freshman from Orion, Ill., was recruited as a tight end, shifted to defensive end before arriving on campus in June and eight practices into his first camp spent Saturday lining up inside on the Hawkeye defensive line.
Lee displayed the toughness needed to play tackle and put his quickness and athleticism to work in recording a tackle for a loss in Iowa’s first scrimmage of camp Saturday as part of the annual Kids at Kinnick Day.
“We knew coming in he was a good football player in high school and an even better person,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said following the scrimmage. “He’s done a good job here so far and has taken to coaching well. He’s an intent listener who has done a lot of nice things in practices so far.’’
It’s still early in camp and Ferentz said discussions about whether the 6-foot-5, 251-pound Lee or any other true freshman has a chance to see the field this fall for the Hawkeyes remain 10 to 12 days away.
“There will probably be a couple of guys on each side of the ball, part of it will come down to what they have been doing and part of it will be based on our needs at certain positions,’’ Ferentz said. “That’s usually the way it works.’’
THROUGH THE AIR: Spencer Petras, competing for the back-up quarterback role along with Peyton Mansell, completed the only touchdown pass of Saturday’s scrimmage when he hit tight end Nate Wieting in the end zone for a five-yard score.
He also hit Oliver Martin for a 22-yard gain and spent some time working with the No. 1 offensive line.
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Ferentz said the late-practice work with the starters for Petras in a two-minute drill was simply a byproduct of it being his turn in the rotation.
“We worked both those guys a lot today and we’ll let them continue to compete with each other. They’ve been back and forth a little bit,’’ Ferentz said, adding that he didn’t want to dissect any work of the quarterbacks until after watching it on tape.
BARTA’S EXTENSION: Fielding questions for the first time since his three-year contract extension was announced Wednesday, Barta said he appreciated the support he has received from university administrators.
“I said when I came here in ’06 that this was a dream come true job and 14 seasons in, the feeling is the same,’’ Barta said.
TICKETS MOVING: Tickets for three of Iowa’s home games are moving quickly.
Around 90 percent of the seats for Big Ten games against Penn State and Purdue have been sold and around 100 of the 8,000 seats Iowa reserves for student season tickets remain according to Matt Henderson, Iowa associate athletic director for external relations.
Overall, Henderson said the Hawkeyes had a 94 percent renewal rate for season tickets.