Edds assumes added accountability

Aug. 28, 2009

Video interview with A. Edds

Editor’s note: This will be the final installment of University of Iowa Fall Preseason Camp Central. Return to hawkeyesports.com often during the 2009 season, beginning with a media conference by head coach Kirk Ferentz on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. Then, if all goes as planned, join us in December for Hawkeye Football Bowl Central. On Iowa, Go Hawks!

IOWA CITY, Iowa — As a three-year letterwinner and a leader of one of the most vaunted defenses in the nation, University of Iowa senior linebacker A.J. Edds has assumed added accountability this season.

“It’s a position as a senior you like to be in,” Edds said. “With that responsibility there are a lot of expectations. You don’t just walk into a position like that — you have to earn the respect of the coaches and your teammates.”

Individually, Edds said he wants to show up daily to practices and prove that the respect he is given is well-deserved. In the process, he wishes to help get the Hawkeyes ready for their season-opener against Northern Iowa.

“Right now we want to be hitting on all cylinders before Sept. 5,” Edds said.

As fall camp comes to a close, the Hawkeyes find themselves with a No. 21 ranking by USA Today. The preseason attention is the furthest thing from Edds’ mind.

“We don’t get wrapped up in our image outside of what we know about ourselves,” he said. “It’s important that we stay true to what we know is successful — the way we can work and be productive and stick with that all the way through. We want to take it one week and a time and one day at a time. If we practice to the best of our ability during the week, everything should take care of itself.”

There are eight days before Iowa puts its four-game winning streak on the line against the rival Panthers, who are ranked No. 4 in the preseason Sports Network’s Football Championship Series College Football Poll. Two voters think UNI will win the national championship. The Hawkeyes return 16 starters from a team that went 9-4 in 2008 and won the Outback Bowl by three touchdowns over Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina.

“It’s always a goal of ours to be in contention for the Big Ten title in November,” Edds said. “The big thing in my mind is making sure I do everything I can to make myself the best player I can to help and really go out with a bang. I want to do everything I can to help us be successful this year.”

Edds, a native of Greenwood, Ind., was named honorable mention all-Big Ten by league coaches and media after a junior season that saw him record 59 tackles (4 ½ for a loss) and recover two fumbles. He was named Academic all-Big Ten and received the team’s Coaches Appreciation Award for defense. For his career, Edds has 148 tackles and two interceptions.

Iowa returns eight starters from a defense that was second in the nation for fewest touchdowns allowed (17) and fifth in fewest points allowed per game (13).

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