Hunter grows as a person and a man at Iowa

Aug. 13, 2009

Thursday, Aug. 13, Practice Photo Gallery | Video interview with J. Hunter

IOWA CITY, Iowa — In his second season with the University of Iowa, linebacker Jeremiha Hunter finished second on the team in tackles with 80 and fifth on the team with five tackles for loss. After Thursday’s eighth practice of preseason camp, Hunter shows no signs of slowing down.

“If we continue to play together and play as a team, I think we’ll be an even better defense,” Hunter said.

Those are big words considering that last season the Hawkeyes were fifth in the nation in scoring defense, ninth in rushing defense and 12th in total defense. Tackles Mitch King and Matt Kroul and cornerback Bradley Fletcher are currently in NFL training camps.

“Last year having Mitch and Matt down there controlling things and being leaders on defense was really good,” Hunter said. “It’s going to be tough trying to replace those two, but we have some young guys in there that can get the job done. The defense as a whole will be alright because we have a lot of returning starters and we have a lot of returning experience.”

Hunter is part of a strong linebacker corps that includes seniors Pat Angerer (107 tackles) and A.J. Edds (59 tackles).

“A.J. has a lot of experience and he’s a great leader,” Hunter said. “Pat’s the hard-nosed, hard-core linebacker and he makes it fun out there for everybody. I feed off those two since they’re older and have more experience. They help me get the job done.”

Iowa is faced with a difficult 12-game regular-season schedule that includes road battles against Iowa State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State. The season gets underway for real Saturday, Sept. 5, against intrastate rival Northern Iowa at 11 a.m. inside Kinnick Stadium.

“(Camp) has been going well,” Hunter said. “We’re continuing to get better, stronger and faster and hopefully we can take that into the season because we have a tough schedule this year.”

Hunter is a native of York, Pa., and is a 2006 graduate of Harrisburg Science and Technology. He is well-aware of the Sept. 26 contest at State College.

“The Penn State game? Of course. I’ve got a lot of friends who go there,” Hunter said. “I’m ready for that game.”

Attending college away from Pennsylvania was just what Hunter needed.

“Everybody talks about the fans in Iowa,” Hunter said. “It’s not just talk. Iowa has great fans and Kinnick is a great stadium to play in. It’s probably one of the loudest stadiums, even compared to Tennessee and Michigan. Iowa has been a really good place to grow up as a man and as a person.

To view an exclusive 30-image photo gallery of Thursday’s practice inside the Kenyon Practice Facility, click HERE.

The annual preseason Kid’s Day scrimmage will be held Saturday, Aug. 15. For more information about the scrimmage, season tickets or FryFest (Sept. 4), click HERE.

2009 Iowa Football Season Ticket Application (v3a)