Camp Central: Chaney returns better than ever

Aug. 12, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Thursday, Aug. 12) | Video interview with P. Chaney

IOWA CITY, Iowa — One of the most experienced units for the No. 10 University of Iowa football team received a boost this fall with the return of senior Paul Chaney, Jr. Chaney, an electrifying wide-out and kick returner, adds energy to an already deep wide receiving corps.

“It may be one of the most veteran positions on the team,” Chaney says. “We have DJ ( Derrell Johnson-Koulianos) — he came in with me; Colin (Sandeman) is a senior, Marv (McNutt) is a junior. We have a whole bunch of good guys and our young guys — Keenan (Davis), Jordan Cotton; we have a lot of guys and if we work hard enough, we have potential to be a good squad.”

Chaney caught 19 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown as a freshman and added two receptions for 19 yards as a sophomore. In six games last season he hauled in seven passes for 50 yards. In the second quarter of the Homecoming game against Michigan, Chaney returned a punt for nine yards before tearing an ACL and ending his season.

“It was tough to deal with. We had a pretty decent season after I got injured,” Chaney says. “We won the Orange Bowl, finished 11-2 and that was hard that I couldn’t be part of that.”

For his career, Chaney returned 21 kickoffs for an average of 18.8 yards and he has 11 punt returns for an average of 4.9 yards.

Chaney shows no signs of losing a step in preseason camp. He has caught nearly everything thrown his direction — pulling balls down in traffic and making would-be tacklers whiff with nifty moves after the catch.

“The knee is perfectly fine,” Chaney says. “It’s my last season and I’m going to go out with a bang. I’m out there working hard trying to get back into the flow of things. I had a great beginning to the (2009) season so I want to get back to that and hopefully earn a role on this team.”

Chaney is also one of the premiere track sprinters in the Big Ten Conference, anchoring the Hawkeyes to the 4×100-meter championship at the 2009 Drake Relays.

“I tried to rehab well enough to get back for track (in 2010), but that didn’t work out either,” Chaney says. “It was tough not competing.”

The time away from the playing field and running track was not for naught. Chaney studied plenty of game tape and added strength.

“I used that opportunity to watch film on the guys almost every game,” Chaney says. “I critiqued Marvin, I critiqued Derrell and Colin to see how they were playing and adjusting to the game. I took advantage of the film study and strength sessions. Coach (Chris) Doyle kept me in good shape.”

Iowa returns its top two receivers from a year ago — Johnson-Koulianos had 45 receptions for 750 yards and two touchdowns and McNutt added 34 catches for 674 yards and eight scores.

Chaney has an individual goal of returning to the field for actual game competition. His team goal is much greater.

“I want to come out and play hard and hopefully get to a Big Ten championship,” he says.

Meet the Hawkeye newcomers:

Video introduction by D. Johnson

Video introduction by C. Davis