CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Kirk Ferentz Compares C.J. Beathard to Brad Banks: ‘They have right motives and agendas’

IOWA CITY, Iowa – As the start of the Hawkeyes’ season draws closer, the team is hoping to match some of last year’s success behind senior quarterback C.J. Beathard.

Iowa began the 2015 season 12-0 under Beathard’s leadership before falling in their final two games of the season to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship and Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

"C.J. is one of the best out there, if not the best," Iowa wide receiver Matt VandeBerg said. "It's hard to say anything bad about C.J. because he brings so many things to the table as well as his leadership -- that's probably the number one thing he brings to the team. It's evident every time we step out onto the field and the weight room. His leadership is always there."

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 05: C.J. Bethard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes looks to the sideline during the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 05: C.J. Bethard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes looks to the sideline during the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Hawkeyes may need even more of that leadership, considering expectations are very different at the start of this season with Iowa ranked No. 15 in the nation in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll.

If Beathard can continue to show progress individually and lead the team in their defense of the Big Ten West title, he has a chance to go down as one of the all-time Hawkeye greats.

“I’m not saying he’s (former Hawkeye) Brad Banks but there are some parallels in the way (Beathard) carries himself and just the way he does things,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “C.J. has that same characteristic, there’s just something about him. The commonality is they are both genuine people. They have all the right motives and agendas. They are just out there to help the team win.”

Iowa hosts Miami (OH) on Sept. 3 to start the 2016 season.