Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — T.J. Hockenson is a redshirt freshman on the University of Iowa football team who is listed as a first-team tight end. Hockenson, a native of Chariton, Iowa, recently sat down for a Q&A with hawkeyesports.com.
What did your redshirt season teach you?
“It helped us grow and get in the playbook. Freshman tight end Shaun Beyer and I learned a lot of stuff and saw how the program ran. That helped us a lot.”
What was the first week of camp like?
“It’s a lot of fun. We’re all trying to get better. We’re all competitors out here, so it’s a good environment. We have a saying, ‘Today matters,’ so we’re just taking it a day at a time.”
What are you goals for the 2017 season?
“We all have the same goals, which are to get on the field as much as we can and to get ready for the season.”
There are a lot of young tight ends on this roster. How has it been to learn and grow with these guys?
“It’s awesome. We’re a close-knit unit and we’re learning together.”
What do you think your strengths are as a tight end?
“We’re all trying to learn our strengths. The run game is the most comfortable for all of us and we’re trying to learn everything.”
You grew up in Iowa, was playing for the Hawkeyes always part of the plan?
“It’s always been a dream of mine. My parents went to Iowa State, but my brothers always pushed me toward Iowa. It was always a dream of mine.”
If you weren’t playing football, what sport would you be playing?
“I would say baseball.”
What do you like to do during your free time?
“Hang out with my teammates. We’re a close-knit unit and we’re all trying to grow together.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“All these coaches give us and tell us everything. We have these sayings that are up in the weight room, such as take it a day at a time. The coaches always say you don’t get today back, give it 110 percent every time you’re out on the field. It makes everyone better.”
What is your go-to place in Iowa City to eat? What do you order?
“I go to Stella and I order the Beaconsfield.”