197 tackles thru 11 games. That's just a shade shy of 18 tackles a game. Pick the position, pick the level of play and I don't care how good you are, that's just a lot of darn tackles.
Add to that 35 being for a loss, forcing 4 fumbles while recovering three, intercepting a ball and throwing in 9 sacks on the year, it's pretty clear Pat Angerer has what they call a "nose for the ball".
Yeah, I know. That's an understatement, but it's hardly as much of one as what the 6'1", 215 pounder says makes all those tackles possible. "Hard work." Angerer stated as to the reason for his success. "It just shows that hard work pays off."
Hard work in the weight room that has him benching around 280 while squatting 415. Hard work in speed drills that has Angerer's best 40 time thus far at a 4.58. And of course, that translates to those stats on the field, numbers that Pat himself refuses to look at as anymore than just the result of a good old fashioned work ethic and a little speed to burn. "I guess I am just athletic." Pat said of the reason he is so successful on the field. "Plus, I never give up."
Humble as he may be, if you do want to see a slightly more emotional side, put Pat in the scenario that here's the ball-carrier, he's in the wide-open and he just happens to not see a speeding Angerer closing up from behind. Ask him what he's thinking at that moment and you start to hear what most defensive players would say. "That's the most awesome feeling in the world." he said. "I just want to hit him as hard as I can, but I am kind of hoping he sees me right before he gets hit."
You knew that even the most modest defensive player is still just a defensive player at heart, right? While not trying to garner credit, Angerer admitted that there's very little subtlety to the mentality a prolific player on that side of the ball must have. "You have to be like a crazed animal." he said. "You basically just run all over the field hitting whoever you can."
Pat will hit the field running this season, his final year of high school football and he'll have lots of company. Yes, you could say that it's his team, most of the bettendorf starters returning from a team that went 9-2 the season prior. It's also going to be colleges and probably a lot of them watching what some are calling a darkhorse for All-American honors his senior year.
And yes, Pat is an Iowa kid, but doesn't give either the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones an edge over anyone else that might be looking his way this year. "I am open to everyone." Pat said. "I like Iowa State a lot right now because of how they have been treating me, but there's nobody out there that I won't at least take a look at."
Pat is looking at a lot of things, his team winning a state title for one. Topping the 200 tackle mark is another that Angerer would like to add as the proverbial notch in the belt. In respect to recruiting though, Angerer has a goal there as well, but it's a decidedly more tempered one, quite content to let the process take it's course. "I'm just going to enjoy it." Pat said of the recruiting process. "I'm not in a big rush, there's a lot of schools out there, so I am just going to let things happen and when it comes time to figure out, I'll do that."
"I'm not in a hurry though."
This might be the only time or the only thing that has to do with Pat's blooming football career where he can say that. Just ask his competition.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619