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  Wirfs went to Iowa as a tackle. Ferentz figured it could be on either side. It became both sides, but mostly on the right, and not because he wouldn't have been (in Ferentz's mind) just as good on the left. "I would play him at left tackle if I was still in the NFL," Ferentz said. "Maybe that's why I'm not, but that's where I'd play him. Tackles are such a valuable commodity ... at any level." Ferentz explained why Wirfs' regular spot at Iowa became right tackle. The Hawkeyes prepared for their 2017 season with two bright prospects at tackle, but neither slated to start. One was Alaric Jackson, who got to Iowa a year before Wirfs and took a redshirt in 2016. Both Iowa starting tackles got hurt early in '17. Jackson, who wound up making second team All-Big Ten in 2019, had been with the program longer and got first shot at left tackle.

Ferentz is good at recruiting and developing offensive linemen and prefers not to use kids fresh out of high school, but when the right tackle job soon came open, Wirfs plugged in and played most of the season, emerging as Ferentz's first true freshman to start in the offensive trenches. Wirfs wound up playing three games at left tackle in 2019 when Jackson was hurt. "It really doesn't matter to me," Wirfs said at the Combine. "Coach Ferentz doesn't think there is much of a difference. I played right most of the time, and if I needed to flip to left, I would do it in the middle of the series, in the middle of drives. "If playing guard is where I'm needed, then I'll play that." - Beacon Journal

(DS#1 OT) Jr/2020 OT *Tristan WirfsIowa
News Source: Beacon Journal



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