Spring Football: Klinkenborg & King

Mitch King and Mike Klinkenborg, two of Iowa's key players for next year, talk spring football.

MIKE KLINKENBORG

Q: How hard is it to fill those shoes and replace those guys (Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway)?

Mike Klinkenborg: Impossible. They really led us and show us ways how to do things right. I just hope to fill their shoes half the way they did.

Q: Have they given you some things to do outside of just leading by example?

Klinkenborg: Every night we would be in here watching tapes. They would show the backups what to look for in opposing teams and things like that. (They would show us) how to read lineman and everything, the basics, and it really helped out a lot.

Q: How have you guys improved as the Spring has gone on?

Klinkenborg: Trying to mesh the defense and get things set up. We have go to make the calls for the d-line and everything has just got to coincide together. Everything is going well, though.

Q: What stood out with the defense this Spring?

Klinkenborg: There are days we look good and mesh together, getting the blitzes down and everything. The key thing we are trying to do this Spring was hustle. We really got that down this Spring.

Q: Last year it was the linebackers taking the pressure of the d-line. Is it going to be the opposite this year?

Klinkenborg: They have got a year of experience under their belt and that is going to help us out a lot as linebackers, whoever is in there.

MITCH KING

Q: How is this Spring going - obviously it has been different from last year since you were just moving to the line.

Mitch King: This year has been a big difference. I am actually knowing the system

Q: instead of learning it. It is less grueling and painful because I actually know what I am doing out there. This Spring is a lot easier and a lot more fluid I would say.

King: What is your weight at?

Q: Actually, I weighed in Tuesday at 268.

King: Where do you want to be in the fall?

Q: Right here. I want to say about 270, 268 or somewhere in that ballpark.

King: You went up against (Rafael) Eubanks today, what did you see in him?

Q: He is coming along real well. At the beginning of spring ball he was working with the "2's". I think he is working is butt off and learning the system well. As long as he does that he is going to be a good ball player.

King: How much of a strength is the line going to be for the defense this year.

Q: The defensive line is going to be a big strength, I think. We are a veteran ball club from last year but we still have a lot of work to do. Obviously, as you saw today, I think we just need to get more penetration and communicate as a group.

King: Do you think that having youth at linebacker and at the corners put more pressure on you up front?

Q: No, those guys are great athletes that, in my opinion, would have been

King: starters at any other Big Ten school. It is just that you had Greenway and Hodge there. We have no doubt in there ability.

Q: Do you feel like you guys could be one of the better defenses in the Big Ten this year?

King: Yeah, I think so. With what we have seen, I think we need a lot of work. There are a lot of nooks and crannies we have got to work out, but we could be a strong point of this team.

Q: What is the whole theory behind the whole half-goatee?

King: It is just a new look. I am helping my dad out because he has a little grey coming out and I was just trying to be a guinea pig for him.

Q: Do you think that having experienced lineman it is going to help out the linebackers?

King: Well, they have experience. (Mike) Humpal has played last year and (Zach) Gabelmann. (Edmond) Miles has started the last two years, or at least last year. Gabelmann has played a lot on special teams. They saw a lot of field team, it is just that everyone needs to get better at seeing schemes and getting the checks down.

Q: What happened to your hand (ice on his left hand)?

King: Just a little bit of pain. Nothing big.


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