News and Notes From Media Day

Aug. 6, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – Plenty of themes were discussed at Iowa’s Football Media Day Friday. Some of the hot stories included the offensive line and the competition at running back. Below are a few quick notes and quotes from the Kenyon Practice Facility.

O-Line vs. D-Line
Offensive line coach Reese Morgan and defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski were quick to praise each other’s units. The defensive line comes into the 2010 season with plenty of experience, while the offensive line has a few new faces. Morgan was pointed out how much it helps facing a talented defensive front every day in practice.

“You got to bow up and practice,” Morgan said. “You’ve got to compete every day. Rick (Kaczenski) does a great job with our guys. They are tremendous players. Every day is going to be a battle. Are you going to dig and give your very best? Are you going to get better? If we can block our (defensive line) in practice, then we’ve got a chance to have a pretty good offensive line.”

Morgan also touched on the competition between Riley Reiff and Adrian Clayborn during practice.

“Riley (Reiff) is going to be blocking a guy named (Adrian) Clayborn that’s pretty darn good and Riley’s going to struggle with him,” Morgan said. “Hopefully there will be a time or two where Riley can execute what he’s supposed to be doing on a consistent basis.”

Kaczenski mentioned how much of Iowa’s success is based on both lines.

“I think we help each other,” Kaczenski said. “When you look at Iowa, we always talk about `it starts up front.’ You better be tough, you better be hard-nosed and you better be disciplined. That’s exactly what our offensive line is. With (Adrian) Clayborn, I don’t know how many better tackles in the country he is going to go against than Riley Reiff. Same thing on the inside. Our guys, they compete and they get after it. You can’t help but get better. (The offensive linemen) are trying to compete and they are trying to win, too. Right now, it’s Iowa versus Iowa.”

Reiff talked about going against Clayborn in practice.

“I couldn’t ask for anything better going up against Adrian every day,” Reiff said. “I look forward to it. It’s going to help me in the long run. It’s definitely awesome to go against the caliber of defensive line we have.”

Players Love a Full Kinnick Stadium
It was announced Friday that all seven of Iowa’s home games have reached sellout status. That was music to the ears of Marvin McNutt and Allen Reisner.

“We always know that our fans are the best around and the most loyal,” McNutt said. “We love our fans. Even away games are like home games sometimes with our fans. That’s something we look forward to, playing in front our fans at home.”

“It makes us feel good,” Reisner said. “We have fan support and it’s really great that we have people all across the state that want to come and watch us play. Now we have to come out and perform for them so they don’t waste their money on our games.”

From Down Under to Iowa City
Punter Jonny Mullings hails from Canberra, Australia and he was taking part in his first Iowa Football Media Day. Mullings spent a year as an exchange student in Ottumwa,Iowa, which was his first taste of the Hawkeye state. Mullings hasn’t noticed that much of a difference between Iowa City and Australia, but has noticed a big difference between rugby and football.

“The culture, to be quite honest, is pretty similar,” Mullings said. “It’s pretty laid back in both places and there isn’t a lot of difference. There are friendly people in both places.”

“The time spent on the field is the main difference between the two sports,” Mullings said about rugby and football. “Rugby you are on the field for 80 minutes and always involved. With punting and kicking, it’s just a few seconds at a time. The frustration with not being on the field the entire time compared to rugby may be a bit of a difference.”

Mullings is also trying to follow more American sports, but he does miss some of the sporting events that aren’t popular in the United States.

“It’s always good to watch cricket, but that’s pretty much non-existent here in the States,” Mullings said. “I enjoy watching the basketball here as I’m slowly getting into it, but again I don’t know many of the rules.”

Lot of Love in the Backfield
Make no mistake, there will be some heavy competition for carries in the Iowa backfield this season. But that doesn’t mean the three running backs appearing on the depth chart aren’t the best of friends.

Jewel Hampton and Adam Robinson are roommates. Throw in Brandon Wegher and you have the Hawkeye version of the Three Amigos.

“We treat this sport as a business,” Hampton said. “When you are on the field, you think about football. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do at your position. But off the field we are just friends. You can’t carry that off the field. There is no animosity between us.”

Robinson echoed his roommate’s comments.

“It’s really not that hard,” Robinson said. “We are competing, but at the same time we are helping each other. It’s not malicious competition. We are building each other up and trying to get better. We know that if we all are at our best, it’s just going to make the team better. I was friends with Jewel (Hampton) back when he backed up Shonn (Greene) and I was redshirting. Now that we all have a chance to play, nothing has changed.”

Wegher is in full agreement with his counterparts.

“Since we are friends, if someone isn’t doing something right, you can give them tips here and there,” Wegher said.

From the Office to the Gridiron
Brett Greenwood had a busy summer as an intern for the UI Foundation. He was able to get out and meet all the loyal Hawkeye fans who attend the numerous I-Club banquets throughout the spring and summer. Greenwood also worked in the UI Foundation offices, learning the ins and outs of fundraising for a major university.

“It was great to have the opportunity to go out on the road with the UI Foundation people and meet the fans,” Greenwood said. “It was great to see the excitement level of the people that support all the athletic programs at the university.

“Being in the office, I really got to see how everything works behind the scenes and how the Foundation is able to raise money for us to practice here (Kenyon Practice Facility) and play in Kinnick.”