UW Week: A.J. Edds Q&A

Iowa's LEO Linebacker A.J. Edds will have an opportunity to be a three-year starter in the Big Ten. Not bad for a player who came to Iowa City looking to be a tight end. Edds talks about how things have worked out thus far in his career, and what kind of advice he gives his 'younger' teammates as they head into some hostile environments.

Q: You are a sophomore, do you still feel like a part of your recruiting class, which is mostly redshirt sophomore players now?

AJ Edds: I am veteran in the fact that I have played. I have started more than just a game here and there. I did play towards the end of last year. As far as seniors in terms of leadership and being in charge, I am not as far along in that stage, but as far as playing, I shouldn't be making rookie mistakes.

Q: Last week was the first time for a lot of your teammates in a hostile environment. You played a lot vs Michigan last year, how do you communicate what that is like?

Edds: Just imagine playing in Kinnick with all those fans being against you. A lot of rowdy fans that are into the game, like at Wisconsin. They are like the fans here. They live for it. I tell the guys that have not seen it, to imagine an opposing team coming here.

Q: Did Wisconsin recruit you?

Edds: They did, not real heavily, but they did initially, but I went a different direction.

Q: Did you ever visit there?

Edds: No, that is the only Big Ten place that I have never been. It will be my first experience there. I have seen it on TV, so I know what it's like, but at the same time it will be new.

Q: During your recruitment, Iowa told you would get a shot at tight end, and you said that helped sway you to Iowa. Now, you may become a three year starter at linebacker. Does this surprise you how turned out?

Edds: Not necessarily. I knew I would come in as a tight end. Then there were some guys banged up on defense. I was fortunate to get playing time last year to get ready, and this spring talking with the coaches, I would have a chance to be successful on defense. It was in my hands. It is a great opportunity for me to play on a great defense, with some great people. Hopefully at the end of the year we are saying the same thing.

Q: Most of the defense played 70 snaps last week. Is that hard?

Edds: Not so much. At the end of the game, none of us were gassed to where we were dying. We knew it would be a four quarter game, and it came down to the last play of the game. It's not like we are huffing and puffing. We just knew it would be a long game, and it was that. We were ready for that.

Q: Norm sent a lot of one and two LB blitzes on Saturday; what is your goal there, to get inside, outside, fight through a fullback?

Edds: It depends. You take what they give you. It depends on the back, where the blocking scheme is. You have to play off the quarterback or whoever has the ball. You are looking to make a play, not thinking about what you want to do.

Q: In terms of that technique, did you execute the way you had hoped?

Edds: For the most part. What we needed to get done, we did. There were some situations where we didn't, but for the most part, when we came, we got pressure on the quarterback, we had a few balls knocked down, we hurried him a little bit. That is the point when you bring people. You look at the play towards the end of the game, it was a perfect play. You have to credit them, they made a great play there.

Q: How was Mike Klinkenborg after that play late in the game where he was guarding Phillip Bates?

Edds: He is a mature guy, it's not his first rodeo. He knows what he is doing. He will play the next play, that is how the whole defense is. You have to do that, good bad or indifferent. If you just sacked someone, or got gashed for a 20 yard run, you have to let it go and move onto the next play.

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories