Younger Ferentz has learned his lesson

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
6:33
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- From the name on the back of his jersey to his obvious physical resemblance to Iowa's head coach, it's obvious that James Ferentz isn't like the rest of his Hawkeyes teammates.

Ferentz received a harsh reminder of this fact in April, when he and two teammates were arrested for public intoxication. It marked the second alcohol-related citation for Ferentz, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman for the Hawkeyes.

While both indiscretions were fairly minor, the arrest of head coach Kirk Ferentz's youngest son generated a great deal of local and regional media attention.

After being suspended for spring ball, Ferentz is back on the field for the start of Iowa's preseason camp. He will be suspended for Iowa's season opener against Northern Iowa.

"I just need to be smarter and make better decisions," James Ferentz said. "I learned a lot about myself this past season. I didn't make wise decisions. Now it's time to just get ready and get going for the season."

Kirk Ferentz expressed frustration about the attention his son's arrest received, but James said he knew the spotlight would be on him when he signed with Iowa. 

"I made a mistake," he said, "but at the same time, I still think I'm in the right place and with the right people."

Ferentz, who was listed as the team's second-string center before spring practice, will compete for time alongside Rafael Eubanks and Josh Koeppel. Iowa loses starting center Rob Bruggeman, a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

After a trying offseason, Ferentz jumps at the chance to contribute on the field this fall.

"This is the one thing in my life that I really love and enjoy doing every day," he said. "It doesn't really matter where I'm at or what my position is on the team. I'm just excited to be a part of it."

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