Sean Welsh spent the weekend in Texas playing in a high school all-star game. He didn't have much time to think about rumors that Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz might be leaving for the NFL. His mother did.
"My parents get on the (internet message board) forums and read the articles," said Welsh, a 2013 offensive lineman from Ohio verbally committed to the Hawkeyes. "My mom was worried. I tried to keep a level head and not make a judgment until I got the facts."
Iowa Assistant Brian Ferentz, Welsh's lead recruiter and future position coach, eased the prospect's mind in a phone conversation on Wednesday night.
"He cleared everything up," Welsh said. "He told me that Coach (Kirk) Ferentz isn't going anywhere."
Welsh played in the annual Offense-Defense All-Star game in Houston on Sunday. That same day, speculation arose that Kirk Ferentz was a leading candidate for the head coaching position with the Kansas City Chiefs, who employs his good friend, Scott Pioli, as its general manager.
"I'm honestly not concerned," Welsh said. "(Brian Ferentz) told me that his dad has been (at Iowa) 14 years and the rumors about him leaving come up every January whenever some coach in the NFL gets fired. He put my mind at ease and dealt with it before there was anything to worry about. My mom feels better."
Welsh has heard from Kentucky a few times recently. He told the Wildcats that he's firm in his commitment.
"I told them that I'm 100 percent Iowa," Welsh said.
Chicago-area offensive lineman Colin Goebel also heard the talk that the Chiefs were considering Ferentz. He verbally committed to the Hawkeyes in April.
"I heard rumors about this and that and I wasn't sure if they were true," Goebel said. "It threw me off a little at first. Then I remembered back to conversations I've had with Coach Brian Ferentz and he said this stuff happens every year with Coach (Kirk) Ferentz.
"I plan on calling (Brian) tonight or tomorrow, but I'm not worried. He's not going anywhere. He's been there a long time and is still there."
Ohio Safety Solomon Warfield, who pledged to Iowa in June, said he had not heard from the Iowa coaches this week. He spoke with Brian Ferentz before the holidays. He played in the all-star game with Welsh on Sunday.
"I read a story saying something about Coach (Kirk) Ferentz leaving, but I haven't talked with anybody up there," he said. "I'm not sure what's going on, but it concerns me because I love Coach Ferentz. I'm going to need to call them in the next day or two."
Malik Rucker, a Iowa verbal commitment from Minnesota, said he has not spoken to the Iowa coaches. He is wondering what's going on with Coach Ferentz after hearing the rumors about the NFL in the last several days.
Rucker still is considering an official visit to Texas Tech, who offered him a scholarship last month. He said the Red Raider coaches are scheduled to visit him this weekend.
Ohio Defensive Lineman and Iowa commitment Brant Gressel said he spoke with Brian Ferentz a few days ago and the NFL talk did not come up. He was unaware that the speculation was out there about his future head coach.
"I've been so busy with work, that I haven't a lot of free time," he said. "My conversation (with Brian Ferentz) was pretty much a catching-up talk about how the holidays went and things like that."
Gressel said he was not concerned and after hearing what Brian Ferentz told Sean Welsh, he felt even better.
"I'm glad it's not true," he said.
Verbal commitments are non-binding and coaches are restricted from speaking about them until the prospects sign a national letter of intent. The signing period begins on Feb. 6.