Spring Cleaning: Peter McMahon

The Iowa football program has had more than its share of walk on success stories over the past several decades, and another player is preparing to write his final chapter into that book. Senior to be Peter McMahon walked on at Iowa back in 2000. Five years later, he is preparing to make a run at all Big Ten honors and a possible NFL career. Not bad for a player that didn't even earn all conference honors at Dubuque Wahlert.

PETER MCMAHON, Senior, OL (Dubuque, Iowa)
2004 VITALS: 6-7, 333-pounds
2001 VITALS: 6-7, 312-pounds

THE SKINNY: Well, maybe that is not the appropriate term to use when you are talking about a man who is 6-7 and 333 pounds. It's not that McMahon is fat, either. He is just a hog molly, and might be Iowa's best OL in 2004. He was a former walk on to the Iowa program and if he remains healthy, he will probably be playing on Sunday's in the future.

HIGH SCHOOL HONORS: Earned two varsity letters as offensive and defensive lineman.

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER: Recorded 27 tackles, including five QB sacks as a senior while seeing action in just the last four games of the season . . . recorded 25 tackles as a junior, with four QB sacks and one pass interception . . . helped team win city championship as a senior.

PERSONAL: Born 10/15/81 . . . economics major . . . Honor Roll student for four years . . . parents are Suzanne Muir and Tom McMahon . . . high school coach was Jim Kiloran.

HAWKEYE CAREER TO DATE: Pete McMahon redshirted in 2000, joining the team as a walk on. He played sparingly in 2001 as a member of the PAT and field goal units. He was one of the key reserves on the great Iowa offensive line of 2002. Once Robert Gallery is drafted next month, four of the six ‘starters' on that line (Andy Lightfoot and Ben Sobieski rotated quite a bit) will have made it to the NFL.

2003: McMahon started all 13 of Iowa's games in 2003 and was the anchor on the right side of the line. He has played both tackle and guard on the right side, and figures to be the leader of the OL for 2004. He did a wonderful job of opening up holes all season, but he really peaked in Iowa's Outback Bowl victory against Florida. Fred Russell ran wild on the Gators, and he ran to both Gallery and McMahon's sides with success.

SPRING 2004 STATUS: As you can see, McMahon is even bigger now than he was last year. Though he might not be as ‘nimble' as Gallery, nor will he enter the fall with the pre-season hype that Gallery had, McMahon's play will be a key factor as to how successful the Hawkeyes will be on the field in 2004.

If Lee Gray can develop into a capable left tackle, and with Mike Jones gaining more experience this spring at left guard, McMahon is the perfect ‘mentor' on the right side of the line. As mentioned, his ability to play guard or tackle will give the Iowa coaching staff some flexibility to plug in one of its more inexperienced players where they can have the most success, with McMahon filling the other position.

That is a compliment to the type of player that McMahon has grown into. In a perfect world, McMahon would be at either left or right tackle. But you don't often find a player that can adapt so well to multiple positions. He is almost a ‘utility' lineman, if you will, and that is not said out of any slight to Big Pete.

THE FUTURE: The first two Hawkeyes that we have profiled in our Spring Cleaning series, Jermelle Lewis and Chad Greenway, seem sure-fire locks to be drafted on the first day of their respective drafts.

We feel that McMahon has a chance of that as well. Some of that will depend on having an injury-free 2004, as well as seeing the entire offensive line gel together, allowing Iowa to continue it's recent dominating play in the ground game.

McMahon might also be yet another Hawkeye player who performs quite well at the NFL combine workouts as well. He might not run a sub 5.0 forty like Robert Gallery, but then again, not many players who are 6-7 and weigh more than 320 pounds will do that.

And McMahon playing the ‘less heralded' right tackle position might not be the stuff that NFL exec's dream about in their first few draft picks, but McMahon should have a shot to work his way into the middle rounds, 3-6.

Even at this early stage, McMahon should hear his name called in the 2004 NFL draft.

McMahon is also the lone senior on the offensive line for 2004, something that bodes well for the Hawkeyes in 2005. Including McMahon, Iowa may have at least three future NFL linemen on this year's line, with Gray and Jones being the other two possibilities.

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