Football is the family business for an Iowa junior positioned to move into the Hawkeye starting lineup this fall.
Jack Plumb opened spring practices listed at the top of the depth chart at left tackle, a position Alaric Jackson has anchored for the past four seasons.
As he returns to campus with teammates for the start of summer work, the 6-foot-7, 297-pound junior believes he is prepared to take the next step in his career.
He sampled that last season, making the first two starts of his career as a right tackle in games against Nebraska and Illinois while rotating at the position with Mark Kallenberger and Coy Cronk.
“Things are going pretty good,’’ Plumb said as spring practices neared an end.
“I’m focusing on developing a set of fundamentals that I can trust and carry into games with me.’’
An early emphasis on gaining strength and size has positioned Plumb as well.
In transitioning from playing tight end in high school to lining up on the offensive line with the Hawkeyes, a move made to maximize his mobility and length, Plumb has added nearly 55 pounds to a frame that weighed in at 245 pounds during his senior season at Bay Port High School in Green Bay, Wis.
That is where Plumb developed a passion for a game that has deep roots in his family.
Both of his grandfathers had coaching roles with Super Bowl teams.
His paternal grandfather, Ted Plumb, worked as assistant coach for five NFL organizations and was the wide receivers and tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears as they worked their way to the 1985 Super Bowl.
He later worked as the director of pro scouting for the St. Louis Rams, securing personnel that led the Rams to a 2000 Super Bowl championship.
Plumb’s maternal grandfather is the late Fritz Shurmur, whose resume included working as an assistant for five NFL franchises. Shurmer worked as the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers during that organization’s 1996 Super Bowl championship season.
A cousin of Plumb’s mother, former New York Giants head coah Pat Shurmur, is currently the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
There is even a closer NFL connection in Plumb’s bloodlines.
Plumb’s parents, John and Susie, first met when their fathers were both assistant coaches for the Phoenix Cardinals in the early 1990s.
Jack Plumb said there was a time when his father considered coaching as a career option as well, but after attending a team meeting with Ted Plumb, John Plumb chose to pursue opportunities as a financial analyst.
“He was so confused with the Xs and Os, he just said, ‘Coaching is not for me, I’m going to stick to the numbers I’m good at,’” Jack Plumb recalled.
But Jack Plumb has hopes of one day working the on the sideline.
An elementary education major at Iowa, Plumb intends to become a coach once his playing days are done.
“It’s something I want to do,’’ Plumb said. “I come from a football family, so you are a football player from day one.’’
And that is where Plumb’s focus remains at the moment, working to become the best offensive tackle he can be for Iowa with the Sept. 4 season opener against Indiana drawing closer by the day.
“I’ve been fortunate to be around great players here and I’ve been able to learn from watching and asking questions,’’ Plumb said. “In this game, you are always learning.’’