Camp Central: Klug just wants to win

Aug. 6, 2010

Interview with K. Klug | Coach Ferentz press conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Karl Klug will speak to reporters today, but he would rather be playing football. That’s what the University of Iowa senior defensive tackle came here to do in 2006 when he was a 207-pounder with dreams of being a Division I starter.

“I wasn’t that decorated (at Caledonia High School in Minnesota) and I knew I wasn’t going to start four years or three years being that light,” Klug says. “I knew I had to come in and put weight on before I even had a shot at playing. We had other guys in front of me (Mitch King and Matt Kroul) that I knew were going to start. My goal was to start after they left.”

Klug beefed up to 270 pounds and at 6-foot-4, he more than holds his own against Big Ten Conference offensive linemen. Last season, when the Hawkeyes won 11 of 13 games, Klug registered 65 tackles (13 for loss) with four sacks and two forced fumbles. He has played in back-to-back January bowl victories.

“My third year I was on goal line and special teams but I wasn’t sure what it would be like playing every down,” Klug says. “Not until last year I guess.”

Injuries limited Klug during his freshman season of 2007. He had one assisted tackle during a 21-16 win against Minnesota in his only action of the year. A herniated disc in his back, broken bones in a toe and torn tendons have all been on the Klug injury report. He had surgery the first two years he was on campus.

Now a starter and injury-free since missing the game at Pittsburgh in 2008, Klug is expected to participate in his 23rd consecutive game when the Hawkeyes host Eastern Illinois on Sept. 4 inside Kinnick Stadium. He made 10 tackles during a 42-24 win against Indiana on Oct. 31, 2009. With Klug and senior Christian Ballard inside and senior Adrian Clayborn and junior Broderick Binns at end, the UI boasts one of the top defensive lines in the country. Klug is looking for victories, not recognition.

“We just want to win games,” he says. “If we win games, that’s all that really matters; everything else doesn’t matter.”

Because of his quick and quiet emergence as one of the league’s top defenders, Klug is becoming one of many Hawkeye fan favorites. That’s another role he is not completely comfortable with.

“Everyone loves Adrian and that’s fine with me,” Klug says with a laugh.

Klug and the rest of the Hawkeyes began fall camp this morning with a 10:30 practice. They will be available to the media from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

To watch UI head football coach Kirk Ferentz’s media day press conference at 1:30 p.m. (CT) click HERE.