Aug. 7, 2014
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Q: What are you working on the most heading into practice this fall?
A: Something that I was working on with James (Morris), Hitch (Anthony Hitchens), and Chris (Christian Kirksey) was how to watch film, how to pay attention to small details, and learn how to be a faster player. That goes with preparation. I think that was the thing I learned the most over this offseason.
Q: What are your individual goals for this upcoming season?
A: I don’t really have anything. I’m all about the team. I know it sounds a little clique, but I’m just trying to win a championship along with my teammates.
Q: How eager are you to get on the field?
A: Very eager. I’m even eager for practice, which most people don’t really say. I’m eager to get back on the field, back with my teammates, and try to make us better every day.
Q: How do you try and help the newcomers?
A: I like to get them up in the film room. Like I said, I learned how to watch film later on in my career, so I want them to learn how to get that down right now. Coach Reid and Coach Woods are going to do everything physical on the field, but I think the mental aspect is sometimes overshadowed. We need to get that down right now.
Q: Is there any significance to your jersey number?
A: It’s just a traditional linebacker number. Abdul Hodge wore it when he was here and he was a great guy and a great linebacker.
Q: What professional athlete have you looked up to throughout your athletic career?
A: There has never really just been one. It’s always been a wide range of people depending on how old I was. Ray Lewis is every linebacker’s idol. I always looked up to Gary Brackett, which isn’t really anyone’s favorite player. I just look up to smart linebackers. They are my favorite players.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
A: I watch a lot of cartoons, and I listen to a lot of calming music. When you walk out of the tunnel hearing people banging on the pads of the stadium that’s what gets you hyped. I just try to stay as calm as possible. Don’t play the game before you play the game.
Q: What cartoons do you watch?
A: You always have to go back to the old school Tom and Jerry. Johnny Test. Rugrats, I’ve always loved Rugrats. Rocket Power if you can find it. It’s a wide range of cartoons.
Q: Describe the feeling you get when you run out of the tunnel at Kinnick in front of diehard Hawkeye fans.
A: It’s so electric, because the people are banging on the pads and you just get so hyped. You are just so eager to play the football game. It feels like sometimes your heart is about to stop.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a Hawkeye?
A: My teammates. I’ve been around here for four years, but these last three years I haven’t started a game, so my teammates kept me here. The coaches and the atmosphere and the fans… everything about this organization and this school has kept me here. Being a Hawkeye is just the best thing anybody could ask for.
Q: What is your favorite Iowa City restaurant?
A: I’m a sucker for burgers, so I have to say Shorts. You always have to go to Buffalo Wild Wings a couple times too with the sports atmosphere.
Q: What is something that few people know about you?
A: I love to sing. Outside of my teammates, I don’t think many people know. I’m pretty much a big kid at heart, but when I hit the field there is always a switch that comes on and it is linebacker time.