The plans were always to burn James Morris' redshirt. That was never in question. But when Iowa opened the 2010 season against Eastern Illinois University, who would have predicted that this moderately recruited linebacker from nearby Solon, Iowa—the son of the Iowa equipment manager—would start six games at the all-important middle linebacker position?
Nonetheless, that was the way it worked out.
In 2010, Iowa burned nine redshirts, though that is a lot for Kirk Ferentz.
The most redshirts Iowa ever burned under Ferentz was 2007, when they played 12 true freshmen. In Ferentz's 12 years as the head coach, the Hawks have averaged 5.1 redshirts burned per year.
On the other hand, over the last five years, he has loosened up a bit, averaging exactly seven burnt redshirts per year.
My guess is that he will go light on the true freshmen this year, and will probably stay within the five to seven average.
In effect, I'll take the mean—six—and give my best educated guess as to which true freshmen will see the field for the Hawks in 2011.
With all due respect to James Morris and the great job he did in 2010, hopefully none of them will wind up as starters.