Where did you meet Drew Brees?
I went to a Purdue camp when I was a sophomore in high school.
Do you keep in contact with Drew Brees or anything like that?
Nah. I don't know him personally. I just talked to him a couple of times.
Did you hold him up there as the guy to follow when you were in high school?
I figured that if there was someone that looked like me and played like me, it was probably him. It's different now.
He's in the NFL now. He's gotten a lot of experience. He's a little heavier than me. He's been through a lot more.
Did you envision a career like his when you got to college?
I had hoped so. But coming here, I knew that we weren't going to have the spread offense like they did. When I came here, I just wanted to win games and get in bowl games.
What does Purdue do that has given Iowa trouble the last few years?
Probably their scheme. The way that they show things one way and then bring things the other way. And just the kind of athletes they've got out there.
Did you have any numbers in mind for yourself before the season?
I didn't look at the numbers or the accolades after the season. That stuff will happen. I was just concentrating on me doing what I was supposed to do and winning games as a starter.
Have you done anything to surprise yourself this year?
Not really. I've played the same all of my life. I've had the same confidence since I was playing when I was little. I'm only as good as the guy next to me. I'm playing for him. He's playing for me.
Coach said that he worries about you coming down too hard on yourself. Do you?
Maybe sometimes. That's probably just the inexperience. But I wouldn't say that it's a big thing to worry about.
Do you worry about coming down too hard on teammates?
Maybe at times. There's time for some things and then there's not times for other things. I'm not going to change the way that I play. Everybody that I've played with knows that I've got them and I took care of them. They think they'd go to war with me. Going into the ninth game of the season, you could ask a lot ot guys, I would hope that they would say the same thing because they know the kind of effort I put in for them. They do the same for me. It's all of us playing for each other.
Are the injuries to the running backs a topic around the Iowa locker room?
No it's not. Injuries are part of the game. It's certainly not something that you want to dwell on or talk too much about. And that's hard when something like what happended to Mick on Saturday happens or an ambulance comes on the field. That's tough.
But you have to put it out of your mind. You have to move on and play football. Any time you play football, you run the risk of getting hurt.
Do you think guys like Sam or Damian are scared?
I hope not. I'm sure in the back of their mind they're worried when you see that many guys get hurt. But I don't think that anybody is scared.
If you step on the football field scared, you're probably going to end up getting hurt or getting someone else hurt. Those guys might lose a little sleep at night, but that's part of football. And they're the only guys left, so they better not be scared.
Has Drew yelled at you yet?
No, not at me, although he could have once on Saturday. He just gets excited out there. he doesn't spend a lot of time yelling at us. He's usually more upset with the receivers. But that's his nature. He gets exicted.
He's a younger guy, but he's got a lot of fire. He's learning how to harness that a little bit and use it to a positive. It's hard out there sometimes when things aren't going well. It's not always the best thing to have all of that fire. Sometimes we just need to relax. But guys respect him. He's earned the respect where he can rip someone's ass.
Some guys don't take it well and go into a shell.
Some guys do. The good thing about Drew is that he understands that. He's good at understanding people. He's a coach's son, too. Certain people respond to different stymulus.
If he yelled at me, I'd probably respond to that. Maybe there aren't other guys who would. But he's got that figured out.
Does the yelling carry over?
No. I don't think that anybody resents anyone for things that get said on the field. We all have a common purpose. If I make a mistake, I expect someone to go ahead and let me know about it. I'd do the same for them. It's certainly not personal out there.
What was the head coach yelling about when he had you guys on the sideline?
We just had a breakdown in the protection. It was something that we had gone over and we'd reviewed in the walk through and in practice. It wasn't a matter of anything technical. We just didn't block a guy that we were supposed to block and the call was in place. We didn't get it done. He had due cause to be upset.
He doesn't do that a lot
No. It was warranted. That's about the best answer I can give you. It was warranted. That's why he did it. When we're not protecting well, we've got to expect to get that kind of treatment. We're going to have to clean that up.