Nov. 27, 2014
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kirk Ferentz couldn’t have selected a more appropriate honorary captain for the University of Iowa’s football game on the day after Thanksgiving.
Linebacker Pat Angerer had a frustrating beginning to his career as a Hawkeye from 2005-09 that included illness and injury. It ended with the Bettendorf, Iowa, native being named All-Big Ten and All-America, and being selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
“I feel so blessed and thankful for my time (at the University of Iowa),” Angerer said Thursday after the Hawkeyes completed a walk-through in the Indoor Football Practice Facility. “It wasn’t until I was further along in my career that I realized you need a sense of urgency. The sooner you realize that, the better.”
Angerer redshirted as a freshman at the UI in 2005. He made five tackles as a freshman and one as a sophomore. Not stellar numbers for a guy who three years later would be named to the NFL All-Rookie Team. Angerer focused on buying into what Hawkeye coaches were telling him and he was rewarded for that dedication.
“It was maturing and becoming a man. These coaches are the best in the business. They instilled in me the hard work and sacrifice — not just on the field, but off the field. Once I realized that and put it all together is when I started having success.”
UI linebacker 2005-09
As a junior, Angerer made 107 tackles with five interceptions. He followed that with 145 tackles as a senior. His final game was a 24-14 Iowa win over No. 9 Georgia Tech in the Fed Ex Orange Bowl, one of the greatest defensive performances in school postseason history.
“It was maturing and becoming a man,” Angerer said. “These coaches are the best in the business. They instilled in me the hard work and sacrifice — not just on the field, but off the field. Once I realized that and put it all together is when I started having success.”
From 2010-13, Angerer played 54 games for the Colts, averaging 5.9 tackles a game. He forced four fumbles, with 2 ½ sacks, and two interceptions.
Angerer retired from professional football in the offseason and is studying for a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification. He lives in Bettendorf with his wife and two sons.
“Every Saturday I’m living through these (Iowa football players),” Angerer said. “My son and I get geared up and we run around the basement playing football and we’re Iowa every Saturday.
“This organization holds such a special place in my heart. I know how hard those kids work to get on the field. I know what they sacrifice. I will always be rooting for them and I will always be proud of them.”
Angerer expects an emotional return when he steps on the Kinnick Stadium turf Friday as honorary captain. The Hawkeyes (7-4 overall, 4-3 Big Ten) host Nebraska (8-3, 4-3) in the Hy-Vee Heroes Game. Kickoff is set for 11:05 a.m. (CT).
“This is one of the biggest honors of my career,” Angerer said. “It’s fun to be back here and to be able to step on the field one last time means a lot. I’m sure it’s going to be emotional. I can’t wait.”