Ballard ready to Lead

Christian Ballard came to Iowa with the possibility of playing tight end or defensive end. The move to defense was early, and it paid dividends last year as Ballard played as a true freshman. He is ready for year number two and he has big expectations.

Q: What was it like to get out there on the field as a freshman last year?

Christian Ballard: It was great. It was exciting, and it's a privilege to play here. I worked hard during preseason camp and got out there and got some experience. This summer, we came back and we have to prove ourselves again.

Q: Now that you have that under your belt from last year, what have you placed on yourself to achieve this year?

Ballard: To be a starter, leader, someone people can look to when the game gets tough. Someone that people can count on. Somebody that everyone depends on.

Q: Do you guys all look up to Mitch King?

Ballard: There are a lot of guys on this team like Kroul, Seth, Bruggeman, they lead us. I want to take after them, look after each other. We need to learn as much as we can from them and try to mimic them.

Q: You and Adrian got some time last year, kind of like the young guns bringing energy. Did you feel that way?

Ballard: Kind of, but we were just coming in there to make a play, and show the coaches we could contribute. The energy just happened. We were really excited to go from high school to the Big Ten. That just happens. We want to bring that intensity and enery back this year and hopefully we can do that.

Q: What are the strengths of the defense coming into this year?

Ballard: D Line, we are looking to be leaders. But we will all come together and be a really good defense together. We will look to the leaders, but we wont pin it on one person or unit. We will come to together as a team and family.

Q: Do you have your calendar marked special for any games?

Ballard: First game is Maine, we will prepare for them and take it game by game. We have a tough season this year, and we have to prepare for and be ready for every game.

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