Media Day: Zach Gabelmann

Iowa Senior Zach Gabelmann discusses is battle with Mike Klinkenborg for the starting middle linebacker position, what his metality is like on special teams and more in this HN.com Premium Q&A.

With all the guys working out for the starting linebacking spots, that must show that there's some depth there?

Yeah, you have Klink and I going at it in the middle. The Will, there's some competition there, too. Right now, it's up in the air still.

Do you use the departure of Chad and Abdul to say, "Hey, we're pretty good at linebacker, too"?

Yeah, they're the greatest guys to be behind. You don't get much playing time, but when you do, you want to use it all up and have them evaluate you afterwards and sit in the film room and say what you can do better. It's great to have them there because they're the best guys to learn from.

Like you said, you and Klink are kind of 1 and 2 or 2 and 1, however you want to say it. Has that helped both of you become better players?

Yeah, I mean we push each other but we're also there for each other. We talk to each other about what we could do better. We build off of each other. It's good competition.

It's hard to overestimate the role you had on special teams last year. Is that a role you'd be willing to fill again?

I am looking forward to special teams this year. I'm hoping they'll put me on more special teams this year and keep me on and not take me off just because if I'm playing linebacker.

What is your mentality on special teams?

Ah, go after the ball and throw my body in there. Everything is for the team. O don't care about myself. I just want to get there. Everybody makes something happen. Things happen because of each person. So, it's a good time.

Are you trying to send a message? I mean some of those hits you put in there have got to leave an impression.

Yeah, Ohio State was one where I wasn't feeling really happy at halftime. We had to come out at halftime and kick off and I wanted to make a message clear. Our whole kickoff team wants to send a message at the start of a game. We want to show them that you're not going to get us down.

Do you feel like you'll see plenty of action at LB even if you don't win the starting job?

Yeah, it could be more of a rotation. But even if Klinkenborg does start, I'm fine. Anything that helps out the team… the coaches are going to have the best player out there. I'd rather have that and just help out the team anyway, on special teams or anything else.


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