Iowa's three-man quarterback derby has reached its conclusion, at least for now. The Hawkeyes on Friday officially named sophomore Jake Rudock as their starter for the opener against Northern Illinois.
Rudock competed all offseason with Cody Sokol and C.J. Beathard for the No. 1 job. None of the three has any FBS game experience, though Rudock was officially the backup for James Vandenberg last season. Iowa was the only team in the FBS last season to have just one quarterback take every snap, and Vandenberg struggled most of the season while adjusting to new offensive coordinator Greg Davis' system.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz has said most of the offseason that there wasn't much separation between the quarterbacks, but Rudock had an edge because of his experience preparing to be the backup all of last year.
The 6-foot-3 Rudock was a well-regarded recruit out of powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida. He should have the arm to make all the throws for Iowa, which is hoping an improved running game can open up some shots down the field in play-action. Rudock will hope to improve a passing attack that mustered only seven touchdown passes in 12 games a year ago.
Rudock's counterpart in the opener will be Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy candidate.