NIU Week: Jake Christensen Q&A

Jake Christensen enters his first year as Iowa's starting quarterback, but in listening to how he answers questions from media members, you wouldn't know that. As a redshirt sophomore, he handles queries from the media as if he has been in Iowa City for five years, not just two.

Q: Ken O'Keefe said back on media day that you were a pretty level headed guy. Is that important, how you project in the huddle, when things go wrong?

Jake Christensen: I think it is, because when a quarterback steps in, all eyes are on him in the huddle. If the guys see you upset, or down on the team, that is not really good for our staff to see. You need a calm demeanor and that is what I am trying to do.

Q: Is that as important as arm strength?

Christensen: I think so. There have been a lot of quarterbacks that have been successful that have not had big arms. I think of Josh Heupel from Oklahoma. People were on him for a lack of arm strength, and they won a national title. He was a great leader and how you carry yourself is very important.

Q: How do you learn that?

Christensen: Coaches do a good job of teaching us to be leaders, doing the right things all of the time. After a while, you believe in that and you portray it. The coaches do a great job, but you have to have the willingness to do it. Coach O'Keefe is always talking to us about leading, never getting on a guy for the wrong reasons, just taking everything in stride and not being too up or too down. He preaches that to us.

Q: Your recruiting class, the class of 2005, is now stepping into where many of you are going to have big roles.

Christensen: Obviously, the third year, coach says, is the year that you want to make your move. I think there are quite a few of us that will be playing. We have lost 10 or 11 guys. A lot of those guys might have been playing, but you can't focus on that. You have to move on and be ready to play.

Q: I think its nine (players from 2005 that are gone); is that surprise you?

Christensen: It does, but when you get here, the leadership groups says to look around, because when you are seniors, half of those guys won't be here. Then you look around and you don't believe that, you don't see anyone you think will leave. Now, you blink your eyes and nine guys are gone. This program filters out the guys that are not made for it.

Q: Do you think you are ready for the microscope of being Iowa's starting quarterback?

Christensen: Yeah. I don't have anything to hide. What you see is what you get with most of us. We are confident that we will overcome the things that have been going on and play well.

Q: What did you learn from watching Drew?

Christensen: You learn a lot. He was a watch and learn guy. Everyone knows he was a great competitor. He made mistakes like everyone and you learn from that.

Q: What did you learn from your relationship with Drew that can help you with the other quarterbacks now?

Christensen: It's hard to say. Me and Drew didn't talk all the time. We talked some, due to him being the starter and me being the backup. The closer you are as quarterbacks, the more you can help each other. We are a close group, all five of us.

Q: Drew had good rapport with Scott Chandler and you seem to have that with Tony.

Christensen: I think we are all comfortable with each other, whoever is catching the ball. We have been throwing a lot this camp. We have been working on the chemistry. I think we are almost there.

Q: Did you ever think you would make your first two starts against the same team?

Christensen: No, I didn't. It's not something you think about. I never considered it


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