Aug. 12, 2009
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
- 2009 Fall Preseason Camp Central
- 2009 Football Media Fact Book
- 2009 Football Media Guide
- 2008 Highlight Video
- New and renewal season ticket customers: Purchase yours online!
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Iowa Football wallpaper
Editor’s note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Wednesday, Aug. 12, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2009-10 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer, then a redshirt sophomore, lost the entire summer of 2007 to mononucleosis. Once he arrived back on campus for the start of camp, injuries followed — dislocated shoulder, groin damage, pulled hamstring — each requiring 3-4 weeks of recovery.
“I wasn’t in shape at all,” Angerer recalls. “By the time I was healthy enough to play, I just got my butt kicked. It was really frustrating because I knew I could be doing better. Sometimes in life stuff like that happens and I’m thankful I had an opportunity to learn a lot when everything didn’t go my way.”
A healthy junior season for Angerer produced a team-high 107 tackles (27 more than linebacker Jeremiha Hunter) and five interceptions (tied with strong safety Tyler Sash). Angerer also had 6 ½ tackles for loss and a sack. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes opened with three consecutive wins and closed with six victories in seven outings to post a record of 9-4 overall. During a 31-10 victory over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, Angerer led a Hawkeye defense that forced five turnovers with six tackles.
The 2008 season was a welcomed reprieve for Angerer, who admits that the illness and injuries from the previous year took an emotional toll — a toll that nearly led to life without football.
“I probably didn’t have the guts to do it,” Angerer said of leaving the team. “I don’t think I could go into Coach Ferentz’s office and tell him I’m not playing anymore. I’m sure he wouldn’t have let me quit and I’m thankful I didn’t. It was sort of a wake-up call and I grew a lot from it.”
“We’ve had some great stories and Pat’s is one of the best. Last year he had a tremendous football season in all regards. The year before you couldn’t have had a worse year than he had. It started with mono right before camp and it kind of compounded as the year went on.”
UI head coach Kirk Ferentz
“We’ve had some great stories and Pat’s is one of the best,” UI head football coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Last year he had a tremendous football season in all regards. The year before you couldn’t have had a worse year than he had. It started with mono right before camp and it kind of compounded as the year went on.”
Angerer also grew by waiting in the wings while progressing up the Hawkeye depth chart. Iowa annually features one of the Big Ten’s stingiest defenses, thanks in part to the exceptional play of its linebackers.
“I had the opportunity to learn from a lot of great linebackers,” Angerer said. “(Zach) Gabelmann, Abdul Hodge, Chad Greenway, (Mike) Klinkenborg, (Mike) Humpal). I learned a lot from all of them.”
Gabelmann and Angerer share more than the common bond of being Iowa linebackers. Both starred in high school at Bettendorf, Iowa, a program that also produced former UI stars Hap Peterson (1982-85) and Tavian Banks (1994-97) and current Hawkeye Colin Sandeman.
“Bettendorf coaches do a good job of following Iowa’s work ethic,” Angerer said. “We work hard at Bettendorf and when we come here, it’s not any different. If you work hard you will get results.”
Peterson ended his Hawkeye career in the Rose Bowl; Banks in the Sun Bowl. Angerer would like to exit with a final bowl trip as well, but he knows there is plenty to accomplish between now and January.
“The preseason polls and all that talk doesn’t matter to anybody,” Angerer said. “It matters what you do on the field. I don’t see why we can’t win all our games. We have the right group of guys, we have the right coaches. I think we’re going to be OK.”
Angerer was named second team all-Big Ten by both the league coaches and media, earned the team’s Hustle Award and was named Big Ten Player of the Week following Iowa’s 38-16 win against Wisconsin on Oct. 18. In that game, Angerer had 16 tackles and two pass interceptions.
“Last year Pat made sure things went right,” Ferentz said. “He played spectacular football and he’s emerged as a team leader. We’re very, very happy for Pat and his success. I don’t think many linebackers played much better. There are some good linebackers in our conference, but Pat did an awful lot for our football team in a lot of different ways. He’s a real smart football player besides being competitive.”
“Coach Parker always has a story to tell and he’s seen everything. I’m very confident playing for him. I trust everything he says. Coach Ferentz? You won’t find another coach in the Big Ten Conference who meets with every player on the team, knows every player’s name and knows every name of the player’s family members. He’s unbelievable.”
UI senior linebacker
Despite the banner year in 2008, Angerer is not about to rest.
“Hopefully I have a lot more ahead of me,” Angerer said. “I wasn’t satisfied with one thing about last year. I have a ton of work I need to do. I need to be great and become a ton better.”
Eight Hawkeye starters return to a defense that a year ago was fifth in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision in scoring defense (13 points per game), ninth in rushing defense (94 yards per game) and 12th in total defense (291.31 yards per game). Joining Angerer with starting experience are defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard, linebackers Hunter and A.J. Edds, cornerback Amari Spievey, Sash at strong safety and free safety Brett Greenwood.
“Our defense as a whole has a lot of experience, so there isn’t one guy who steps up and takes control,” Angerer said. “We all should be accountable.”
Of the eight returning starters, only Angerer and Edds are seniors.
“It’s a lot more fun knowing it’s the last time,” Angerer said. “We’re still working hard, but now I get to savor every workout and enjoy it. A.J. is more of a vocal guy and I’m more of a `just do it’ guy. We know people are looking up to us.”
Angerer has also had five seasons to savor the coaching of Ferentz and defensive coordinator Norm Parker.
“Coach Parker always has a story to tell and he’s seen everything,” Angerer said. “I’m very confident playing for him. I trust everything he says. Coach Ferentz? You won’t find another coach in the Big Ten Conference who meets with every player on the team, knows every player’s name and knows every name of the player’s family members. He’s unbelievable.”
A health and sports studies major, Angerer will graduate in December. Being a native Iowan, the commute west on Interstate 80 to the UI seemed a logical destination for him to continue his career as a student-athlete — but not without some good-natured teasing with his father.
“My dad (Cliff) is a big Iowa fan,” Angerer said. “I always told him I was going to Michigan just to get under his skin. Deep down I knew that once Iowa offered I was going to go there. I’m here and I couldn’t be happier.”