Plagman, McMahon Defy Odds

A couple of kids from Iowa that nobody seemed to want could be starting at one of the best O-line schools in the country on Saturday. spoke with the established Pete McMahon and the up-and-comer Todd Plagman on Tuesday. Among the topics were McMahon's switch from tackle to guard and Plagman's move up the depth chart. Read all about it in this premium Q&A.


So, when did you find out that you had a chance to be a starter?

During camp, I just worked real hard and the coaches gave me a good opportunity. It's kind of how things played out. I just kind of got in the mix here.

How did you end up at Iowa?

I grew up in a small town - Carson, Iowa. That's on the other side of the state. I had some offers to go to like some Division II schools and things like that. But I just wanted to see if I could play here at Iowa. It's a great coaching staff, as you guys know. I just wanted to see of I could make it in Division I football, so that's what I tried to do.

How do you not end up a Nebraska fan?

You know, I don't know. The Huskers, I did hear a lot about them when I was a kid growing up. But, you know, I just felt that Iowa was the place for me.

Did you ever sell youself in this position this quick?

Honestly, I didn't think that I would be in this position this quick. But, you just have to take what comes to you and go with it.

What has allowed that to happen?

Just hard work and persistence and good opportunities.

Did you have to see youself when you were first walking on?

They just got my game tapes and stuff like that and just watched that. I don't know if I'd really say that I sold myself.

Who made the first contact?

They sent out letters in the recruiting process. I got to know Reese Morgan through that. That's how it all started.

What positions did you play in high school?

I played OT and DT.

When were you put on scholarship?

I got it during camp.

Did that surprise you?

It was a bit surprising. I was very happy. College is quite expensive. My parents were absolutely thrilled and shocked at the same time.

Who paid your tuition last year?

It was kind of a half/half deal (with parents).

How did you envision your career unfolding at Iowa?

I don't really know. I didn't think that it would happen this quickly. I thought that I'd be a guy that would have to work real hard and be here four or five years and then maybe see some playing time later.

When did you join the team last year?

I was a first-day walk-on. So, I came the first week of classes.



We got thrown for a loop today with Plagman on the depth chart. Can you tell us what a Plagman is?

(Chuckles) He didn't even get invited to the 105 guys that are allowed at camp last year. He came in as a first-day walk-on and has been improving ever since. He had a real good spring. Then in camp he just kept improving and caught the eye of the coaches. They shuffled guys around trying guys in new spots. They saw him playing guard, and it fit pretty good. He's just doing a really good job for us.

How tough has the shuffling on the line been?

I don't think that that's that big of a deal at all. We're guys that have been playing with each other for three years. They're just kind of trying to find the right mix. It's good for us because then we get to play next to different people and learn how to play with different people. That will benefit everybody in the long run.

Are there any drawbacks?

Maybe for the first couple plays of practice you might not be sure of what the other guy is going to be doing; how he's going to play. But you figure it out after a few plays.

What is the transition from tackle to guard like?

It's not too bad. It's just that the guy is a little closer to you. That's pretty much all there is for me. You don't have as much space. It's a little easier for me because you don't have as much room there for you to screw up. Plus, you've got the center right next to you telling you what to do on every play. It's a little bit different footwork.

You've seen five different offensive lines at Iowa. Where is this one fitting at least at this stage of the game?

We're right in the mix with all those other great offensive lines. We have a lot of work to do. We don't know 100 percent who is going to be there Saturday. But the coaches know what they're doing. They're going to put the best five guys out there. We'll be fine.

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