April 10, 2009
- 2009 Spring Camp Central
- New and renewal season ticket customers: Purchase yours online!
- Outback Bowl Central
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Iowa Football wallpaper
IOWA CITY, Iowa — You don’t need to tell University of Iowa middle linebacker Pat Angerer that patience is the greatest of all virtues. For three seasons he lived that motto and now he is basking in the limelight.
“You know as a young player you’re not going to come in and get reps like the older guys who deserve it,” Angerer said during a break in spring drills. “You have to be patient and know the reps are going to come. You have to keep plugging along and working hard.”
The senior from Bettendorf, Iowa, was red-shirted in 2005. As a freshman in 2006, he was listed on the third team. He bumped up to second team as a sophomore. Following spring drills last season he was listed as a co-first-teamer at middle linebacker. Angerer finished the year as the Hawkeye leader in total tackles (107), solo tackles (45) and assisted tackles (62) and shared the interception lead (five) with strong safety Tyler Sash.
“I better lead the team in tackles if I play middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense,” Angerer said. “It’s sort of set up to make the middle linebacker make plays. Now I’m just looking to improve and help the team the best I can. Last year was the first year I got more than 10 reps in practice. It helps a lot to get reps.”
That is one of the primary benefits of the 15-practice spring camp which ends April 18 for the Hawkeyes. Inexperienced players settle into new roles with the departure of graduated seniors while youngsters get their feet wet learning the intricate schemes.
“Last spring was a little more hectic,” Angerer said. “I was worrying about things I really didn’t have any control over. I didn’t know the defense as well. I know the defense much better, which helps a lot. I know more of what everybody else has to do, too.”
“It feels good to hit somebody. It’s a smooth pop, like hitting a home run. You don’t really feel it, but you know they felt it. I never really felt that I’ve hit somebody that well since I’ve been here, so I’m looking forward to doing that. I can improve on being physical. At times last year I don’t think I was physical enough.”
UI middle linebacker
More specifically, Angerer is using this spring to become a better leader, to be more physical and to improve all aspects of his game — including pass defense and stopping the run.
“Spring practice has been going pretty well,” he said. “It’s a good way to see where you’re at, what you need to work on and keeping your skills fresh.”
Iowa finished the 2008 season with a record of 9-4 overall, including a 31-10 victory against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes won their final four games and six of their final seven. Eight starters return on defense, but Iowa lost defensive MVP and All-American defensive tackle Mitch King, all-Big Ten defensive tackle Matt Kroul and all-Big Ten cornerback Bradley Fletcher.
“Obviously you can’t replace guys like Mitch and Matt,” Angerer said. “Those guys were unbelievable and everybody fed off them on defense. We have a year under our belt and we’re going to be more experienced and hopefully everybody trusts in their techniques and trusts in each other.”
Known as one of the most physical and ferocious Hawkeyes, Angerer says he will use his senior season to pursue something that has eluded him so far during his career — the perfect tackle.
“It feels good to hit somebody,” Angerer said. “It’s a smooth pop, like hitting a home run. You don’t really feel it, but you know they felt it. I never really felt that I’ve hit somebody that well since I’ve been here, so I’m looking forward to doing that. I can improve on being physical. At times last year I don’t think I was physical enough.”
Following his first season as a starter, Angerer was named second team all-Big Ten by coaches and media and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 38-16 win over Wisconsin on Oct. 18. In that game, Angerer registered 16 tackles and two interceptions.
With Angerer, two things are certain: 1) he feeds off the energy of the Kinnick Stadium crowd, and 2) he doesn’t let preseason prognostications go to his head.
“Expectations don’t mean anything. Potential doesn’t mean anything,” Angerer said. “You’re judged by productivity and what you do and what you get done. It’s exciting to know we have guys who can get the job done. There’s a lot of talent on this defense.”