HTO.com Beat: Merry Christmas to All Hawk Fans

LB Edmond Miles

With the dead period entact, finals week wrapped up, and Christmas nearing; normally there would not be a whole lot going on in the Hawkeye world. However, 2002 has proved to be a special year and there are still plenty of events to recap in this week's HTO.com Beat.

While doing some christmas shopping, I was stunned by the price of Orange Bowl apparel in stores. As I bought a few Hawkeye gifts for family members in the Hawk Shop, the idea of purchasing an Orange Bowl sweatshirt, before hitting the warm waters of South Beach, ran across my mind. When the price tag listed $60 for my desired sweatshirt, even with HTO.com subscriptions doing well, I could not rationalize the purchase. Its a proud accomplishment for the Hawks certainly, and the Orange Bowl does not come around often, but for $60, I'd hope to see it made with better than cheap material.

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Speaking of merchandise, Brad Banks jerseys finally hit the stands. From speaking to a manager, sales have been going outrageously well for the popular Hawkeye's famous #7. In fact, I only wondered if a single sale had been made for the #34 jersey that started out at in the beginning of the fall.

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Texas high school phenom QB Drew Tate made his official visit to Iowa City this weekend. Hosted by Ed Hinkel, Drew's visit went well. In fact, from what I gathered, Drew even spent time with Chris Leak. Word is starting to spread that Leak is exploring a mid-year transfer so he can participate in spring practice to gain a jump start. That was spread to both Tate and Eric McCollom in case of any worries as both quarterbacks are most likely red-shirt candidates.

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Fred Barr gave a lot of praise to the future of the Hawkeye defense; mostly to replacement Abdul Hodge and counterpart Edmond Miles. While their speed and lateral movement has been documted as potentially some of the best in Hawkeye LB history, one important category has yet to be mentioned. That is their strength! Both carry a 400+ bench press, being the only two Hawkeye linebackers to do so.

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The Iowa Hawkeye men's basketball team climbed to 7-2 in non-conference play with a big victory over Liberty. The Hawkeye's offensive production has really started to increase, in large part due to the increase of production out of the bench. Both Brody Boyd and Sean Sonderleiter experienced season and career highs Sunday eveing with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

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Basketball recruiting will be presenting a very intense in-state battle this coming spring and summer over the battle for Alex Thompson. The 6'8 forward is actually looking more out of state currently at the Wisconsin and Kansas programs, but the Hawks and Cyclones are likely to be there right until the end.

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Lastly, I'd like to wish all Hawk fans a Merry Christmas! HawkTalkOnline.com will continue to deliver the holiday cheer this winter. These are exciting times for us all!

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