Next Men In: Matt Kroul & Jacob Spratt Talk DL

Two defensive linemen, Matt Kroul and Jacob Spratt answered questions on Saturday as Iowa concluded its spring football drills...


Talk about the Spring football experience for 2005.

We really did not get to play much of a game, but it went pretty well. The defensive line came in with some questions and some holes to fill. I think we leave feeling pretty good about our performance. We made some strides and found a couple of guys and will work over the summer to get better.

Has the 'new' defensive line found a continuity this spring?

I think that is part of what we need to do. We have guys with some good aspects and talents, and yet we all need to work out some of the bad kinks. We still have three weeks of camp to go so there is plenty of time to figure that out.

Do you think the team has accomplished everything it wanted to this spring up to this point?

I think Coach Aiken is pretty happy. We found some things that we can improve on.

Do you know what kind of defensive line you will be yet - be it athletic, smart, big, small, etc?

At Iowa, you go hard and physical whether you are big, small, or athletic. You really try to be physical.

Does your high school experience from the winning program that you have at Mount Vernon prepare you at all to be a Hawkeye?

I guess I was kind of used to winning, but I do not want to come off 'that way'. We won some games and that helps since we win here. We try to work into that.


Talk about the sacrifice you made to be a walk-on to where you are now.

My first year, it was tough for me to be on the scout team. I got to travel last year and got on the field quite a bit. It puts things in perspective. Right now it is tough just practicing against each other and beat the other guy on your team. I think we have proved through spring ball that no matter who goes down (to injury) somebody will step up and perform no matter what.

What is it like being on the scout team and then going against the number one offensive squad?

It is not fun. You do not want to be on it. I had to go against Gallery and many guys.

You learn that they are the best. The thing about them, too, is they will be the first to tell you, 'hey, you are not shooting your hands right or feet are not going in the right direction.' They are helpful, everyone is helpful. I mean, Gallery does not want this team to go to crap once he is gone. He wants to make sure that everything stays in flow while he is gone.

Did you dream about playing at Iowa when you were growing up in Williamsburg, just 20 minutes away?

In high school, I was not really focusing on college too much. I had too much at stake. I am a person who just goes day-by-day. Today is just another day. I had to go out and prove to the coaches that I can fill a position if someone else goes down or when I get the chance to perform. You play every down hard and perform like you can.

Is it cool to go home and see little kids and hear them say, 'wow, you are an Iowa Hawkeye!' ?

It is nice with the kids, but the parents ask a lot of questions. It gets kind of tough to just eat a meal. I was there as a kid, too. I saw a couple of guys from my school who went to play here. I was pretty impressed and looked up to them and wanted to know how things are. I can tell the kids how it is, because they are just curious like everyone else

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