Countdown to Kickoff: Mitch King

When the Iowa football team has been at its best this decade, its defensive front has been menacing, disruptive and mad-dog mean. The 2006 version of the Hawkeyes were not up to those standards, and part of the reason for that may have been the injuries to Ken Iwebema and Mitch King. In our next installment of 'Countdown to Kickoff', we'll take a look at #47, Iowa defensive tackle Mitch King.

REPORT CARD TO DATE: A Yeah, I will probably be a pushover when it comes to handing out grades, but I will probably focus on what was expected of players as either recruits or going into a season and what they did, or for what they have done in their careers thus far as related to their ‘recruiting ranking'. Again, with the need to remind you that those things are mostly entertainment, as far as I am concerned…but we use them in entertaining ways, as I hope this series of items will be for you.

Mitch King didn't come to Iowa with great expectations…or rather, the Iowa fans didn't read the name Mitch King and get giddy with excitement. But things have changed over the course of the last three years. Say his name now, and you are certain to see a smile on the face of your Hawkeye brethren, because King is just one of those guys cut from that classic blue-collar Hawkeye cloth. He was a three-star linebacker when he came to Iowa, with a national position ranking of 67th.

At Iowa, he has been undersized along the defensive line since moving to the position from linebacker in the spring of 2005. During that first season, he was an Honorable Mention All Big Ten performer and the first freshman to earn weekly Big Ten accolades that season, late in the year against Wisconsin.

Last year was not the kind of year that King had envisioned, as he was playing hurt most of the time. Kirk Ferentz said after this year's open spring practice that King, along with Ken Iwebema, were injured for ‘pretty much the entire 2006 season.'

King was listed at 264-pounds in the spring prospectus, and will probably tip the scales just over 270-pounds come August. But he requires a double team at times because he can be too quick for most of the guards in the Big Ten conference to handle in a one on one situation.

2007 OFF SEASON PERFORMANCE: So far, so good. Again, Ferentz singled King out after spring drills saying that he had done a great job. A healthy Mitch King is an absolute must for the entire 2007 season, as Iowa is very, very thin on the defensive line. King can be an interior disrupter when healthy, something Iowa has had during its best years of this decade. When it hasn't had that inside penetration, the entire defense has suffered.

THIS & THAT: "Coach (Phil) Parker told me he sees me playing linebacker. However, he said if I put on too much size, with my speed, I'd make a good defensive end. We spoke about the current depth, and the incoming linebackers. It was good just to talk general football with him." Mitch King, then a high school junior, to this website, 4/10/2003

If King can get close to 10 sacks this year and 15+ tackles for loss, the Bullies of the Big Ten might be back.

THE MITCH KING FILE

2006: Eighth in the Big Ten and 59th nationally in tackles for loss (1.09) . . . ranked eighth in Big Ten and 79th nationally in QB sacks (.5) . . . one of four sophomores selected to 2006 Leadership Council . . . moved from linebacker to defensive line during 2005 spring practice.

2006 Honors - -Named pre-season first team all-Big Ten by Lindy's . . . pre-season second team all-Big Ten by Athlon Sports . . . 2006 - - listed as first team defensive tackle following spring practice. . . started at defensive tackle in win over Montana as defense allowed just 144 yards total offense . . . recorded two solo tackles and five assists vs. Montana, including two tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks . . . started at defensive tackle in double overtime win at Syracuse . . . recorded eight solo tackles vs. Syracuse, including three tackles for loss and two QB sacks . . . played key role in stopping Syracuse on eight straight plays inside the five-yard line in second overtime . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Iowa State . . . recorded two solo tackles and three assists vs. Iowa State, including 1.5 QB sacks . . . started at defensive tackle in win at Illinois . . . recorded one solo tackle and one assist vs. Illinois, including one sack and one QB pressure . . . started at defensive tackle in loss to top-ranked Ohio State, recording three solo tackles, four assisted tackles and one pass break-up . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Purdue, recording one solo tackle and one pass break-up . . . did not see action in loss at Indiana due to injury . . . returned to action in loss at Michigan, seeing limited action and recording no statistics after missing previous game vs. Indiana . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Northern Illinois as defense allowed just 196 yards total offense . . . recorded five solo tackles and one assist vs. Northern Illinois, including one tackle for loss in return to fulltime action . . . started at defensive tackle in loss to Northwestern . . . recorded six tackles vs. Northwestern, including two solo stops, two tackles for loss and one QB pressure . . . started at defensive tackle in loss to Wisconsin . . . recorded eight tackles vs. Wisconsin, including seven solo stops, including two tackles for loss . . . also recovered a fumble, the first of his career, and had one QB pressure . . . started at defensive tackle in loss at Minnesota . . . recorded three solo tackles and one assist vs. Minnesota, including one tackle for loss . . . started at defensive tackle vs. Texas in Alamo Bowl, recording one solo tackle and one assist.

2005 Honors - - First team Freshman all-America by Scout.com, collegefootballnews.com and Football Writers Association of America . . . Big Ten Conference all-Freshman team by The Sporting News . . . honorable mention all-Big Ten by league media . . . Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his play in win at Wisconsin, becoming first freshman to win that honor on defense this season . . . Hawkeye Hustle Award, defense . . . 2005 - - Saw action in opening win over Ball State, recording three solo tackles and one tackle for loss . . . recorded one caused fumble, which led to an Iowa touchdown in the first half . . . saw action at Iowa State, recording three solo tackles and one assist, including two tackles for loss . . . saw action in win over Northern Iowa, recording eight solo tackles and one assist . . . also had three tackles for loss and second caused fumble of the year . . . earned first career start at Ohio State . . . recorded three solo tackles and three assists at OSU and also had a caused fumble to stop a potential OSU scoring drive . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Illinois, recording five solo tackles, five assists, one forced fumble, one pass break-up and a QB pressure . . . started at defensive tackle in win at Purdue, recording two solo tackles . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Indiana . . . seven tackles vs. the Hoosiers, including four solo stops and one tackle for loss . . . started at defensive tackle vs. Michigan, recording three assisted tackles . . . started at defensive tackle at Northwestern, recording one solo tackle and two assisted tackles . . . started at defensive tackle in win at Wisconsin, earning Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors as defense held Badgers to 276 yards total offense . . . recorded five solo tackles and one assisted tackle vs. Badgers, along with two QB sacks, four tackles for loss and one QB pressure . . . started at defensive tackle in win over Minnesota, recording two solo tackles, three assisted tackles and one QB pressure as defense held top rushing team in the nation to 129 net rushing yards . . . started at defensive tackle in Outback Bowl vs. Florida, recording one solo tackle, one assisted tackle and a pass break-up.

2004 - - Redshirted.

High school honors - - Class 4A first team all-state selection by the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Newspaper Association as a senior . . . member of SuperPrep all-Region team . . . first team all-conference as both a linebacker and running back as a senior . . . second team all-conference linebacker as a junior . . . Career - - ended prep career with 1,400 rushing yards . . . rushed for 850 yards as a senior . . . two-year letterman in football and swimming . . . also a letterman in baseball.

Personal - - Born 5/8/86 . . . open major . . . parents are Tammy King and Lindsay King . . . high school coach was Ron Glasgow.


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