Elgin: 'Expect an exciting year'

Mike Elgin spoke about the upcoming season, his upbringing, his family farm, his teammates and exactly how someone can gain 60 pounds in 6 months. Read more in this premium transcript.

Q: When they approached you about moving to the offensive line, was that a surprise?

Mike Elgin: I mean, playing 4 years of linebacker then coming to a Big Ten program like Iowa then having coach Ferentz ask me to move to center, I was pretty surprised, but at the same time I thought to myself "If he thinks I can play center and he's been in the NFL, he's been on the east coast, if he thinks I can play center, who am I? I'm just a simple kid from a small town." I was like "Yeah, sure, let's do it."

Q: It's a long list already of Iowa offensive linemen who've come in and moved positions and that tradition had to make you know that (it was a good move)

Elgin: That's something that Iowa prides their selves on. We're able to develop players into a position that the coaches think will help the team and will help the player be a better football player and get on the field faster. I mean, yeah, it's something we pride ourselves on. We take advantage of that.

Q: Did it catch that right, you put on 50 pounds in one off season?

Elgin: Yeah

Q: Where were you at, where did you go to as far as weight?

Elgin: I played high school football at 185, came in here at 210, then a year later I was about 260.

Q: How did you do that?

Elgin: Just eating habits, the weight room.

Q: What'd you eat?

Elgin: A lot. A lot.

Q: Was there any particular area? How do you gain that weight, by eating a lot of meat?

Elgin: I just ate a lot. The food was there, I liked it, I just took two of them. Late at night, some pizzas, whatever.

Q: So it wasn't like they had you on protein shakes and all that fancy stuff?

Elgin: We have a tremendous supplement, with shakes and Gatorade. I drank a lot of those.

Q: A lot of people would be jealous of that situation

Elgin: A lot of people are trying to lose 50 pounds.

Q: I saw your mom, one story about you were at home when your mom made a meal, and you looked at it.... Tell me how that went about again?

Elgin: We grew up on a farm, so we have a lot of our own food. We were having leftovers or something, and she makes like a smaller portion, she's not used to me coming home and eating. She made a dinner and it had like, looked like one serving of beans, maybe two steaks for 3 people, I was like "What is this? Is this an appetizer or what?" We joke about it still.

Q: You're studying...

Elgin: Mechanical engineering

Q: Are you able to manage that academically?

Elgin: Oh yeah

Q: What's your GPA at?

Elgin: About 3.9

Q: 3.9 out of 4? That's keeping it up I guess. How do you balance those?

Elgin: It's kind of been easy for me. Just all through high school, my dad being a teacher, just got to get your work done, got to get it done.

Q: Your dad teaches at...?

Elgin: He retired, he taught psychology at Western Dubuque high school.

Q: Still, are those long days, or are you just one of those guys that can just get it all done?

Elgin: Some of both, I think. There's been some long nights, there's been some "This is easy", I'll just scribble it out.

Q: What would you like to do with that major?

Elgin: Work for a company like John Deere, something like that. Some big industrial agriculture company.

Q: So you're talking about design of like tractor or farm equipment, that kind of thing?

Elgin: Yep.

Q: You grew up on a farm, what was the crop?

Elgin: We raised corn, oats, and hay (alfalfa), when I was little we raised pigs and beef, now we just raise beef cattle.

Q: Do you have a lot of brothers and sisters?

Elgin: One brother, two sisters.

Q: Are they athletes?

Elgin: My older sister played division 2 basketball at Missouri Western State College, my brother, he tried to play division 3 ball.

Q: How big is the family farm?

Elgin: 160 acres, so it's a small, one family farm.

Q: Your thoughts about the team this year, there was obviously some big losses on defense.

Elgin: Those are some things that we need to fill, and I think that we have the players there to fill them. Mike Humpal, Mike Klinkenborg, Zach Gablemann, and Bryon Gattas, a junior college transfer. I think we can expect an exciting year. Throughout the Big Ten I think there's going to be a lot of close teams, a lot of battles. I don't think the Big Ten champ is going to be undefeated this year. The playing field is pretty level. I know it's going to be an exciting year.

Q: That Ohio State game is looking pretty big for an early game.

Elgin: Every game's big. Right now the biggest game is Montana, then it's Syracuse, and so on down the line. Yeah, it's a night game, it's going to be exciting, the atmosphere is going to be amazing. It'll be a fun game, it'll be exciting.

Q: This is out of left field, so I apologize, but do you have any good Marcus Paschal practice stories? Try and tackle him back there, anything like that?

Elgin: I couldn't tell you offhand. We joke a lot. Usually with the defense on a safety blitz, I'll tell Marcus, "Come up here, see what you've got." Kind of a fun relationship we have.

Q: Ever popped him on any of those?

Elgin: He's actually never come through. I don't know if he's scared, or what.

Q: What kind of guy is he, personality-wise?

Elgin: He's a great leader, he's one of those guys that leads by example and vocally. He's a great guy. I can't say I've hung around him much, but I'm tremendous friends with him. His work ethic is amazing. He's just one of those guys that set a goal for himself when he came here, and he's reaching that goal. He's done it the right way, and he's also helped the guys around him to reach their goals too. I think he's a tremendous leader, especially on that defense, the secondary, he's done a wonderful job there.

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