Maine Pregame: Jeff Tarpinian Transcript

Jeff Tarpinian seemed to be in line for a starting spot coming into training camp before a leg injury sent him to the sideline. It appears that the linebacker is getting closer to a return as the Hawkeyes get set for this weekend's season opener against Maine. Read what he had to say in the transcript.

Can you talk about finally getting on opportunity to make your mark on the field this year?

It's very exciting. I'm hoping to get back and get out there and be contributing to our defense and making our defense better as a whole.

What sort of things have you learned from the linebackers in front of you?

When I first got moved from (safety), I got moved to LEO and was behind A.J. (Edds). He's actually one of my close friends. He just taught me all of the basic schemes and it was great to learn from him. And then it was (Mike) Humpal and (Mike Klinkenborg) when I moved to WILL. Humpal was a great player. Klink was a great player. They do things the right way. They teach you how to watch film.

Does that give you some sort of motivation to know that the guys that you're following were successful?

Oh, absolutely. You have to carry the legacy of Iowa football. Those players are extremely talented; did things the right way; great football player. You want to try to hold the legacy right there.

For this Saturday's kickoff, what is it that you're most looking forward to? Is there one image, one moment that you're anxious for?

Obviously, walking out of the tunnel is great, but I just want to compete against somebody that's not Iowa offense. That would be the biggest thing, just to compete against somebody else.

The last memory for this team is the Western Michigan game. Do you use that as motivation or do you clear that our of your mind?

That was a huge disappointment and was tough, but you try to look forward. Obviously, you don't want to dwell on the past, but it's something that can motivate you. We just try to take it week by week here. We tried to get better as a team during camp, which we did.

And, the hair, is Mitch King rubbing off on some of you?

Nah, nah. I just haven't gotten a haircut in a while. I haven't found a barber I like, I guess. I don't know about the hair. I'll probably cut it off here pretty soon.

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