Nathan Chandler on his Last Game at Kinnick

"The only way that you can ever fail is if you set goals that take effort to reach. Obviously, there's a lot of enjoyment in reaching those goals, but there's a lot to be said for the journey too. And it's been great for us. It's been a lot of fun competing week in and week out. We've kind of developed a resiliency that is the character of this team." -- Nathan Chandler. Read the rest of Nathan's comments in the last installment of our 'Senior Series'.

As a guy that's only been here a short period of time, is it sentimental to you to think ‘This is my last game in Kinnick?'

Yeah. One of the things when you become a Hawkeye, the tradition and the history are the things that everybody cares about. No matter how long you've been here, it's something that you learn. We have an opportunity to be undefeated in Kinnick. That's just great for the senior class. We know we got here through hard preparation and great effort. We know it's going to take those two to a higher extreme this week.

What will you miss and what would you like to forget about Kinnick?

Kinnick has been good to me when I've been here. We've only lost one game so far (ISU in '02). I'd like to forget that game. It's a great experience. I'll always remember Michigan and Arizona State, just the electricity that was in the stadium those days. There are not a whole lot of people that get to experience that. It was awesome.

Let's go back to last week. Do you feel like you just let a few get away?

Yeah. Obviously the (overthrow to) Ramon is the one that sticks out. You're going to throw balls that just miss sometimes. I thought that was the case with a couple of my throws. But with Razor, I didn't give him much of a chance on that play. That's something that you hate to have happen there. You need to convert those opportunities. With that said, once that play happens, you really have to be able to just forget about it, until after the game when everybody wants to talk about it. (laughs) As far as the game was concerned, that was the play that we immediately put behind us.

You seem to be able to flush the bad play right away. Why?

Just with my career, not everything went the way that I wanted it to. I feel like maybe that's something that I can draw on throughout the course of a game if something bad happens. I haven't had an easy path to get here, so I understand that there's going to be some rocks in the road. The way that you can get by those is by making something happen later.

How did you decide that Iowa was the final stop for you?

I went to junior college because I wanted the opportunity to play Division I football again. Then, the better the program, the more exciting it is for you. As I looked at Iowa - the history, the tradition - that was right away appealing. Then meeting the coaching staff and the players, this is the most family like atmosphere I've seen and been a part of as a football player. The camaraderie here, no matter what's going on, no matter what the situation, you've got a whole swarm of guys in the huddle and on the sidelines that have your back. That's a special thing. That's what the coaching staff has been able to develop here at Iowa.

Do you kind of equate your long, sometimes tough journey in college to that of what the fifth year seniors here at to endure early in their careers?

Yeah. There's a certain amount of pride that guys like Robert Gallery can take in being here in the tough times and seeing it all the way through to a season like last season. I kind of have my own story, but it's the same kind of deal. It wasn't the best of starts for a career. To be able to come and be part of a team at the time that I came to Iowa, I can take the same amount of pride in what has been accomplished here.

People in Miami freak out when they're not in the national title hunt. Should Iowa fans be concerned when the BCS doesn't happen around here?

That's up to them. That's up to the fans. We set high goals coming into the season. I don't regret for a minute the high goals that we set. There are a lot of goals that we still can attain. There are some that we're not going to be able to accomplish at this point. The only way that you can ever fail is if you set goals that take effort to reach. Obviously, there's a lot of enjoyment in reaching those goals, but there's a lot to be said for the journey too. And it's been great for us. It's been a lot of fun competing week in and week out. We've kind of developed a resiliency that is the character of this team.

You have two more weeks to work on your legacy of what bowl you'll lead this team to. How important are these last two games to you personally?

They're huge. And we're not even looking that far ahead right now. Two doesn't sound like much, but as far as we're concerned, there's one we're looking at right now. Like I said, this senior class has an opportunity; this team has an opportunity to be undefeated at Kinnick Stadium. That hasn't happened in a while, since the early '90s. (HN.com: actually it was in 1997, but that is the only season where Iowa has gone undefeated at home since 1985).

Do you even think about the bowls at this point and maybe the chance of returning home to finish up your college career?

I have friends from home calling, thinking that we might be back there. I can't figure that stuff out. I don't even try. Last week, people were trying to figure out how we could win the Big Ten title. Now people are trying to figure out what kind of bowl we're going to go to. I find it's best to just wait and see. We have to take care of business in order to have anything happen. That's kind of the approach that we take to it.

But it would be kind of nice.

It would be awesome to be back in Texas or to be in Tampa or wherever. The best bowl is what we want to be at. If that ends up being in Texas, that would be great.

Have you gotten any feedback from the NFL on how you are viewed?

I'm not sure. We had an opportunity to kind of think about that during our bye week for a day. It's something that you kind of put off until the last regular season game. Even then, you're pretty much focused on the bowl game. It's something that I would love to do if I had the opportunity.

Has it been a goal for a long time?

Yeah. Iowa is a college state. In Dallas, we don't really rally around the college teams. It's more the Cowboys. I grew up wanting to be a Cowboy. I didn't think about college much.

Do you care how you're remembered here at Iowa?

Yeah. I mean, you'd like to be remembered positively. I also hope that people can look at what we've done here when we're done and appreciate what our team was able to accomplish. For that to happen, I think we probably need to continue to improve these last couple of games. And whatever happens happens in that respect. For sure, the most important thing is what my teammates and coaches think of me. That's kind of the driving force. When you prepare for a game, you want them to remember you as a guy that worked hard and tried to make everybody around them better. That's the most important thing to me.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories