Wilson feels good about progress at linebacker

Aug. 22, 2010

Iowa Football Practice Photos (Sunday, Aug. 22) | Interview with Coach Wilson

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Attentiveness is an attribute that describes the collection of linebackers according to University of Iowa assistant coach Darrell Wilson. That focus in the meeting room has transferred to the practice field where Wilson said the preseason is going well.

Technically, the Hawkeyes completed camp Saturday morning when they checked out of the Marriott Hotel in Coralville. They returned to the practice field for a Sunday afternoon workout at the Kenyon Practice Facility.

“I feel pretty good about the progress we’re making right now,” Wilson said Sunday. “We still have a little ways to go, but the older guys are starting to fine-tune their skills and fundamentals.”

Among the `older guys’ are seniors Jeremiha Hunter, Troy Johnson, Ross Petersen and Jeff Tarpinian and juniors Tyler Nielsen and Bruce Davis.

“All the upperclassmen had opportunities to play last year, not only in the kicking game but as defensive players,” Wilson said. “There’s enough experience there; they’re starting to look better in everything they’re doing.”

Hunter was second on the team in tackles last season with 89. Tarpinian and Johnson made 20 stops, followed by Davis with 14 and Nielsen with seven. Somehow the Hawkeyes need to make up for the loss of linebackers Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, who were both drafted into the NFL after making 145 and 78 tackles respectively for the UI last season.

Wilson is impressed with the newcomers.

“We have a good group of young guys who are doing a nice job slowly but surely learning the system,” Wilson said. “The older guys are doing an even better job of helping the younger guys along. I’m excited and impressed with the young group that is with us.”

Iowa, ranked No. 9 by the Associated Press, opens the season Sept. 4 at home against Eastern Illinois.