CEDAR FALLS — A starting quarterback was not going to be named after two days of practice.
Sure, that is the top question for the Northern Iowa football team that completed its second practice Saturday morning in preparation for the 2019 season.
But with a large incoming recruiting class that neared 30 and four additional summer transfers/additions, UNI’s first two practices were not about determining starters.
“It is really to set the tone and expectation of the season,” Panther head coach Mark Farley described. “It is not just for the practice, but the season and mentally preparing on this is how we do things.
“There are probably 30 new guys here and they don’t even know how to get in the stretch line. There is a lot of endurance. There is a lot of focus and a lot of where do I belong and I think that is what we are trying to find out the first couple of days.”
Saturday wrapped up UNI’s first two acclimation days of practice with the Panthers transitioning to helmets and pads Sunday and Monday before their first full uniform practice scheduled for Tuesday.
UNI has 102 players in camp.
Friday, Farley and his staff named two captains of what will eventually be four — senior tight end Briley Moore and senior guard Jackson Scott-Brown.
“I was pretty honored both Briley and I got that,” said Scott-Brown, who joined Moore as a preseason all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection. “I feel like we have done a good job of leading by example and being vocal leaders. Our goal as leaders is to find more. The best teams I have been on have had a leader within each position group.”
“That is a honor,” Moore added. “It is one of the most humbling things I’ve felt.”
Farley said his staff will name two more captains at the end of camp.
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Moore and Scott-Brown said beyond the traditional excitement of camp starting, they are most excited about seeing the hard work the team put in during summer works transition into results in preseason camp.
“From our offseason perspective, we had a lot of stronger guys, a lot of faster guys you could tell from the workouts,” Scott-Brown said. “Really excited to see how our offseason translated to the regular season coming up.”
“The way our team came together this summer, it was one of the best summers our team has put together since I’ve been here, “Moore added.
MORE NEWCOMERS: A quartet has joined UNI’s football program in time for fall workouts. The group includes wide receiver Blair Brooks, safety Spencer Perry, linebacker Skyler Meyers and linebacker Nick McCabe.
“As I looked at spring football, and we had a great recruiting class, so we knew what we had freshman wise,” Farley said. “I knew we lost a lot of good football players from last year so I really went after guys who could help the defense this year and at spots where we weren’t as deep as we needed to be going into the season.
“We got some players who fit our needs, and now it is up to them to fit our system.”
Brooks, a former Marion prep standout, spent his spring semester at Iowa Western Community College after redshirting his freshman year at the University of Iowa.
Perry started his career at Notre Dame before transferring to South Alabama in 2017. He played in eight games for the Jaguars and tallied a season-high seven tackles against Appalachian State.
Meyers enters UNI as a true freshman from Blue Springs, Mo. He originally committed to Wisconsin and participated in summer workouts before electing to make the move to Cedar Falls.
McCabe will also be a freshman for the Panthers. The former Caledonia, Minn., two-way standout participated in summer workouts at Minnesota prior to joining UNI’s football program.