Last year at this time, you made a big impression, then you got hurt. How hard was that?
Ettore Ewen: It was difficult for me because I felt that I was progressing and doing well. But I had to deal with the surgery and the rehab, but we have a great medical staff here and that helped. I am getting back now and I appreciate having another opportunity.
Was it more difficult being that you were far from home?
Ettore Ewen: Not really, because I feel like we have a great family atmosphere here; that may sound cliché, but it's true. That was not a problem.
You came into Iowa's recruiting picture late last year (signed May of 2004). Take us through that process.
Ettore Ewen: I struggled getting schools to notice me because I only played my senior year of high school. In May of 2004, Phil Parker was recruiting my high school for other guys and he saw me working out and he liked what he saw and I sent him some film; things went on from there, so I was very fortunate.
I just think that a lot of schools pay too much attention to height and weight, but here Coach Aiken told me that my height was never going to be a problem. I think that Iowa tries to find players and does not worry about the numbers.
Iowa preaches technique on the defensive line. You are 6-0, 280-pounds and you will be playing against 300-plus pound offensive linemen. How do you overcome the weight difference and still play at a high level
Ettore Ewen: Under Coach Aiken's system, when you use your technique properly, you are going to be able to go in there and fight guys who are bigger than you. Using your strength, quickness and technique, it's not a problem.
Coach Ferentz has said there will be eight to ten of you in the mix. Does it excite you that in your second year, you have a real shot at earning some playing time?
Ettore Ewen: Definitely. The guys last year did a great job as everyone knows, but to have the opportunity to get on the field is very exciting. Made impression last year, so many schools not interested…how does that happen
What did you take away from watching last year's seniors?
Ettore Ewen: Having them and watching them was great. Being able to have that as an example will really help us out this year.