Sept. 18, 2009
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University of Iowa junior Paul Chaney, Jr., is a rare two-sport athlete for the Hawkeyes. The St. Louis native is a wide receiver by fall and a track sprinter by winter and spring. In two seasons with the football team, Chaney has caught 23 passes and returned 14 kicks. As a trackster, he anchored the Hawkeye 4×100-meter relay to the 2009 Drake Relays championship in 40.71 seconds.
Q: What are some of the challenges with being a two-sport athlete?
A: The biggest challenge is time management. Being able to handle schoolwork as well as going to football and track practice, so you have to be able to manage your time effectively.
Q: If you are going to do two sports, football and track seem like a logical mix. What is it about track that will make you a better football player or vice-versa?
A: Like they say, speed kills. If you get the speed right on the track, you can incorporate that around the football field.
Q: You anchored the Drake Relays-winning 4×100-meter relay team. What does that feeling compare to in the sport of football?
A: When I caught my first touchdown pass here against Michigan State a couple years back, that was probably the same feeling that I had when I crossed the line at Drake in first. It was a great feeling.
Q: Are there any similarities between football head coach Kirk Ferentz and track head coach Larry Wieczorek?
A: They both want to succeed and they want a disciplined team with guys doing the right thing at the right time. They are similar guys and it’s easy to transition from football to track when I go out.
Q : Why do you think there aren’t any more dual-sport athletes in Division I?
A: It is about time management and it is very demanding. We are always in here working out and watching film. The free time that we do get, unlike myself, I’m sure that most guys don’t want to go out and practice again for another sport.
Q : Andy Brodell has graduated. Do you feel any pressure coming into this season being one of the more experienced receivers on the team?
A: I wouldn’t call it pressure. It’s just time for me as an individual, and the rest of the receivers, to step up our game. Andy was a great leader and a great guy, and we have big shoes to fill with him leaving.
Q: The Hawkeyes flew under the radar last season before beating Penn State. This year you come in ranked No. 21. Is there extra weight on your shoulders now that your team is one of the best in the nation?
A: I don’t think it’s any extra weight. We need to come out and play hard and all we’re expecting to do is come out and win games. That’s what we’re going to try and do and hopefully we succeed in that.
Q: The Big Ten saw seven teams play bowl games last year and Iowa was the only one to win. Do you think the Big Ten will be back as one of the best conferences this season?
A: We have a lot of good athletes in the Big Ten and if guys work hard throughout the conference, I think it is a great chance to see the same thing with a better outcome as far as the Big Ten winning.
Q: Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?
A: I always have to eat pineapples before any competition. In high school, a teammate I car-pooled with, his mom gave me pineapples to eat before my first varsity game and I scored my first touchdown that game.