The most talked about Hawkeye this offseason has been defensive end Adrian Clayborn.
Clayborn made a lasting impression on Big Ten fans last year. He blocked a punt for a touchdown against Penn State and he gave Tate Forcier a concussion , among a laundry list of other notable accomplishments.
As a result, offensive lines will undoubtedly try double-teaming the projected first-round NFL draft pick this season. The rest of Iowa's defensive front four will look to take advantage of that in a big way.
The defensive line—consisting of Clayborn, Karl Klug, Christian Ballard and Broderick Binns—had 52 tackles for loss last season, including 27 sacks.
Binns accounted for six sacks and ten tackles for loss, to go along with 62 total tackles. He also accounted for a team-high nine pass break-ups.
That's usually an area where a defensive back leads the team.
“His wingspan, it's out there," Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker pointed out during Iowa's Orange Bowl festivities. “I'm not trying to make him out to be a freak or something. But when he leaps up, he can get up higher than you'd think he could.”
If Iowa's opponents pay too much attention to Clayborn this fall, Binns will see last year's stat totals increase exponentially.
“He’s not your classic defensive end,” explains head coach Kirk Ferentz . “He’s 6-foot-1 with the arms of a 6-8 guy.”
Those long arms are responsible for Iowa narrowly escaping an early season disappointment last year against Northern Iowa. Binns blocked a 40-yard attempt with 7 seconds remaining to help prevent the upset loss.
Binns started all 13 games for Iowa in 2009. He was selected to third team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football , given an honorable mention all-Big Ten and selected as ESPN.com 's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State after a forced fumble in the end zone that resulted in a safety.
The soft-spoken junior already appears on the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, an honor awarded annually to college football’s top lineman.
Binns, a St. Paul, Minn., native, attended the same high school as outgoing Hawkeye offensive lineman Rafael Eubanks and played basketball as a kid with heralded USC recruit Seantrel Henderson.
Maybe Henderson opted for USC over Iowa so he wouldn't have to go against the long arms of Binns in practice every week.