Oct. 15, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
- 2014 Fall Camp Central
- Read the October issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa football team has long used the “next man in” mantra as part of its success formula. When a Hawkeye player hits an obstacle and isn’t able to perform, a teammate has always been called upon to step in and do the job. Fifth-year senior offensive lineman Tommy Gaul is the latest Hawkeye to excel in that role.
A native of Des Moines, Gaul attended Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Gaul joined the Iowa program as a walk-on and has seen very limited action. Yet, when called up on last Saturday in Iowa’s 45-29 win over Indiana, Gaul was more than up to the task.
“It was a lot of fun. Most importantly, we got the win,” said Gaul. “Watching the film since Saturday, there were a lot of mistakes we need to correct and improve upon.”
Gaul had a very successful prep career. As a team captain, he earned first team all-state honors while playing as both an offensive and defensive lineman. He was selected to participate in the Iowa Shrine Bowl before joining the Iowa program, and actually played center for the first time in that contest.
“Actually in the Shrine Bowl was the first time I played center,” said Gaul. “With an all-star team, it seemed like we had a bunch of tackles and guards on that team, so myself and a linebacker actually played center in that game. Then I moved to center my second year at Iowa.”
With right guard Jordan Walsh being injured on Iowa’s first possession, center Austin Blythe moved over from center, allowing Gaul to step in. Gaul helped the Iowa offense to its most productive day of the season. The Hawkeyes totaled 426 yards total offense, including 207 yards on the ground and 219 passing yards, while posting 45 points.
“We all try to stay current and in the game,” said Gaul, in describing his position from the Iowa sideline. “You never know when you might be in the game. If Austin or one of the guys has a question when they come off the field, you always try to help answer any questions they might have about what the defense is doing.”
Gaul doesn’t recall exactly what his thoughts were on Saturday after seeing Walsh get injured early in the game.
“Luckily my helmet is always in my hand, so I didn’t have to search for that,” said Gaul. “It was just get in there and do my job.”
Iowa (5-1, 2-0) is on the road Saturday, traveling to face Maryland (11:01 a.m. CT, ESPN2) as the Hawkeyes and Terrapins meet on the football field for the first time ever.