The Coach said today that you'd probably see some playing time this Saturday. How does that sound to you?
That's the first time that I heard that. Sounds good to me.
When you came here to Iowa, did you think that you could play right away?
I wasn't really doubting anything. But I had quite a few surgeries after my last season. So, I kind of looked at it like hopefully I'd be able to heal up in time to compete for a spot, possibly. But I really wasn't expecting these opportunities. I've been blessed with a great opportunity.
Tell us a little bit about what you have gone through health wise.
As far as last year, after Week 2 of the season I tore my posterior labrum in my shoulder. After Week 7, a blood clot developed in my shoulder. I had to have my rib removed and had a couple of surgeries on that. Then I had surgery on my shoulder. I got that rehabbed up. Coach Doyle really helped me out with getting physically ready over the summer.
Were there any thoughts of never playing football after going through all of that?
It was a pretty serious situation because a blood clot broke off into the lung. So, I didn't even think about football until I was out of the hospital and rehabbing. I was just worried about getting through that night. I was definitely scared considering that fact that I might not be able to play again.
What does it mean to you now to get out there?
It's awesome. It's great to be back on the field. I missed it so much having to watch my team win a state championship without me. It's just awesome to be able to be out there and compete again. I feel really blessed.
Coach said that you had been changing some positions. Did you think that you'd be playing offense coming in here?
I was always hoping that I'd be corner. That's what I love to play. But it was pretty much in the coaches' hands. I'd be willing to play wherever I could. Having a chance to play football, I'm really not going to be too picky as long as I can get on the field.
How about playing Iowa State?
That's exciting. I have no clue what's coming because last Saturday was my first time being in Kinnick for a game. So, it's been an experience. I'm excited for this coming week.
Did Iowa State recruit you?
No. I don't think that they really looked at me too much. I committed to Iowa after they offered. They were the first to offer me.
How many reps at safety did you get this summer?
I didn't get any, actually. The players run the 7-on-7s. We just jumped in wherever. I wanted to play corner. So, I jumped in there.
Coach Ferentz said that the coaches were considering CB and S for you. Did you play safety at all?
I played safety my freshman year in high school. I played corner my junior and sophomore year.
What is it about corner that you like so much?
I'm used to being at my high school where we played 1-on-1 on the corner. I love to compete and I love that feeling. It's just you and him out there, no excuses. I really like that 1-on-1 and the skill involved and everything that goes along with that. But safety would be fun, too.
Can you accept getting burned, too? That's part of the job.
You can't accept it, but you've got to understand that it happens. You have to have a short memory. You've got to learn from it, but at the same time keep your confidence up. You have to have a lot of confidence to play corner.
All of your classmates have dropped off of the depth chart at this point. You're the guy that has the best opportunity to play it looks like. With everything that happened to you last year, is that sort of your carrot on the stick?
It really has been. I remember like week ago or so at practice. I hadn't really thought about it because when you get on the field, you're just thinking about football. You're not really thinking about your past. But I realized that a while ago I wasn't even thinking about playing football and how blessed I was. I might have been taking it for granted. I started to realize that I've got to be motivated like that because every day that I've got play footbal is an extra day.
The Iowa scholarship offer was on the table no matter what happened to you physically, correct?
Yeah. That shows a lot about Coach Ferentz and his staff. They really care about their recruits as people as well.
Are you taking any health chances doing this?
No. The doctor cleared me. It was kind of just a freak thing. A tendon attached to a vein and cut it off. So, they got rid of the tendon and everything is good now, knock on wood.