Dec. 16, 2009
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Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Dec. 14 edition of the Official Sports Report (OSR) for the University of Iowa. OSR is a daily e-newsletter exclusively about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Click HERE to learn more.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It has been an eventful and hectic week for University of Iowa middle linebacker Pat Angerer.
Already named first team all-Big Ten by conference coaches and media, the senior from Bettendorf, Iowa, added to his award’s stash by earning second team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and Associated Press and first team by the Football Writers Association of America and SI.com. Last weekend Angerer traveled to Charlotte, N.C., where he was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s defensive player of the year.
“I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great players and talk to a lot of people — not just football players, but people who are big fans,” Angerer said. “The Charlotte Touchdown Club treated us really nice down there and it was definitely a good opportunity.”
Angerer was one of five finalists for the Nagurski Award. The others were Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (the eventual winner), Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Alabama defensive lineman Terrence Cody and Texas Christian defensive end Jerry Hughes.
Then, on Dec. 12, Angerer was named the most valuable player for an Iowa defense that ranks fourth in the nation in pass efficiency, fifth in interceptions (20), eighth in passing yards per game (164.67), 10th in scoring defense (15.5 points per game) and 11th in total defense (286.67 yards per game).
“This means a lot more, especially because the guys on the team voted for it,” Angerer said. “I don’t think that one person on this team is more valuable. We play as a team and we win as a team. I’m truly honored and I’m very fortunate.”
“This means a lot more, especially because the guys on the team voted for it. I don’t think that one person on this team is more valuable. We play as a team and we win as a team. I’m truly honored and I’m very fortunate.”
UI linebacker Pat Angerer
Along with being named team defensive MVP, Angerer was honored at the team banquet with the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award, the Iron Hawk Award and he joined outside linebacker A.J. Edds and defensive end Adrian Clayborn as permanent defensive captains.
“It’s been such a great season. We came together as a team,” Angerer said of the Hawkeye’s 10-2 regular-season record. “All the battles we’ve been in, all the times we came out of top. A lot of time people would have counted us out and we ended up winning and not giving up.”
In the past two seasons, Iowa has compiled a record of 19-6, with trips to the Outback and Orange bowls. The 2008 and ’09 seasons were also productive ones by Angerer, who currently leads the squad with 135 tackles. He has five pass breakups, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and an interception. As a junior, Angerer was in on 107 stops with 6 ½ tackles for loss, five interceptions and three breakups.
Those are pretty impressive numbers, especially considering that during his first two seasons, Angerer spent more time in the training room than on the playing field. After his sophomore season, Angerer had six total tackles and just one solo stop.
“I obviously had high hopes and all that stuff and I expected a lot of myself,” Angerer said. “But there were times when I was feeling pretty low and I didn’t think it would be like this. Thankfully my teammates and my family pushed me in order to reach the goals, and the coaches gave me an opportunity to come out here and contribute to the team.”
Angerer and the rest of the stingy Hawkeye defense are preparing to contain a Georgia Tech offense that averages 307.2 rushing yards and 35.3 points per game.
“The key, especially with the triple option attack is to have everybody on the same page and have everybody do their responsibilities and give 100 percent,” Angerer said. “As long as everyone’s doing that, we should be fine.”
When asked who he would vote for as the Hawkeye defensive MVP, Angerer — without hesitation — said Clayborn.
“He just kills people,” Angerer said. “He does so many great things for this defense and this team in general. I think you could make a statement for our whole D line and a lot of other guys on this defense and our offense. That’s the good part about this team.”
After six postseason practices, it’s apparent that this group of Hawkeyes isn’t content with 10 victories and a berth in a Bowl Championship Series game.
“We’re not satisfied,” Angerer said. “There are a ton of things we need to improve on. That’s why we’re working right now. We look forward to playing a great team in a great bowl game and it should be fun.”
The No. 10 Hawkeyes play the No. 9 and ACC champion Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl in Miami on Tuesday, Jan. 5, with a 7 p.m. kickoff (Iowa time).