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.
By DARREN MILLER
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A high school student from North Carolina wondered how Josey Jewell stays grounded and humble after stellar on-field performances. The 6-foot-2, 236-pound senior linebacker for the University of Iowa said he avoids hype.
“If there is anything positive, I shut it off,” Jewell said. “I try to find the negatives and focus on that to improve.”
Jewell was one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented annually to the top defensive player in college football. On Monday morning, he was on a panel, fielding questions from students from Charlotte area high schools.
“Look at the small things,” Jewell told the Leadership Forum in the Charlotte Convention Center. “Looking at your job is all you have to do. Don’t think about too much, don’t look up in the stands too much — focus on your one job and one role on the team and that should keep you grounded.”
Jewell was joined on the panel by Ross Browner, 2017 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award winner from Notre Dame and Greg Sanders, 2017 Defender of the Nation from Virginia Military Institute, and three other Bronko Nagurski Award finalists Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State (the eventual 2017 winner), Ed Oliver of Houston, and Roquan Smith of Georgia. (Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick was not present).
“Time management is huge in college,” Jewell said. “There is a lot going on with social life and football. Then you have academics, so there are three things to handle. You have to be wise on what you spend your time on and moderate wisely between each of them.”
After the 2017 regular season, where Iowa finished 7-5, Jewell was named first-team All-Big Ten Conference and also earned the league’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year honors.
He is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Jewell was named the recipient of the Jack Lambert Trophy (nation’s best linebacker according to the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio). His 426 career tackles rank fifth in Hawkeye history.
“Do the right things on and off the field. Lead by example and show people the right way,” Jewell said. “It comes down to hard work and focusing on details. Details are the biggest thing in life. You have to do the fundamental stuff if you want to become great.”
Jewell was also asked more candid questions, like his favorite pregame music:
“Mine is a wide range, I wouldn’t classify it as one genre,” Jewell said. “It’s country to rock to hip-hop. It’s a bunch of different stuff. There is some Jason Aldean.”
Aside from Kinnick Stadium, what is your favorite venue to play?
“I like the big environments, so in the Big Ten that would have to be (Memorial Stadium in) Nebraska and Camp Randall in Wisconsin.”
And even in North Carolina, they were curious about “The Wave.”.
“Hopefully it has a positive impact on the kids up in the hospital,” Jewell said.
Jewell may be on the awards circuit, but his focus is on winning the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College (7-5) on Dec. 27 in Yankee Stadium in New York, New York.
The University of Iowa Athletics Ticket Office is accepting online bowl orders at hawkeyesports.com/tickets. Fans may also order tickets by calling 1-800-IAHAWKS Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Priority-point order deadline is Friday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m.
Official bowl travel packages are available atiowasportstours.com. For more information visit: pinstripebowl.com.