Sept. 1, 2015
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By ALEX SNYDER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nathan Bazata, a former Division I player of the year in high school and first team all-state defensive lineman in Nebraska, is beginning his sophomore season with the Hawkeyes. The Nebraska native saw action in nine games in his first season and looks to help a defensive line that lost two players to the NFL draft.
Bazata comes from Howells Nebraska, a small town of about 600 people. Hawkeyesports.com caught up with the sophomore to preview the upcoming season.
What is your major?
“Right now my major is sports marketing, but I may end up switching it to business.”
What are your goals, both personally and as a team going into the 2015 season?
“For me personally, just trying to pick out something each day and improve upon that, whether it be technique or giving it just a little bit more each day, giving it everything you have and leaving it out there. As a team, playing together to get better.”
If you could play any other sport besides football, what would it be?
“I was also a wrestler in high school, so I would probably wrestle because every match is a grind, similar to football, I like coming in after a game or after a hard workout and feeling like I’m dragging and tired, to me that’s a good feeling.”
What have you done this offseason to improve your game?
“This offseason I came in a lot just to work on my pass rush, because that is one of the areas of my game that I am struggling with right now. I also came in with some guys to work on stepping forward, last year my biggest problem was stepping sideways, and now I am starting to see some progress with that.”
How has the fully functioning practice facility helped you and your team prepare for this upcoming season?
“It’s awesome, right after you get done lifting they have shakes available right away for you, they also have sandwiches, which is very beneficial to us and will be a recruiting advantage in the future.”
What are your thoughts on switching to morning practices, instead of the afternoon?
“I think it is going to be good; it will give us more rest time in the afternoon. Having our off day on Thursday, right before our up tempo practice on Friday in the morning will be better, because we will be fresher for the weekend.”
What do you like to do away from the football field?
“My roommate and I like to tinker with things, for example, last summer we brought a three wheeler up and we would mess around with that, and this year we had a moped we liked to work on.”
What is your favorite restaurant in Iowa City?
“El Ranchero’s, it’s not too expensive, they give you a lot to eat, and it’s really good.”
What football team was your favorite growing up?
“Growing up I was a fan of the San Diego Chargers, but ever since I got to college I haven’t really had the time to watch too many NFL games, but they are still my team.”
What are your favorite TV shows?
“I like to watch Counting Cars, Naked and Afraid, and I also like to watch shows on the History Channel that have to do with gold miners.”