Iowa’s defense was solid in 2007 and that unit expects to have even more success this season. One of the reasons is senior defensive lineman Mitch King. The Burlington native was an all Big Ten choice last season and says even with eight starters back on defense they will need some young players to have an impact.
King says they need depth because a lot of young guys don’t have experience, so they’ll need to rotate in a lot of bodies as they build the experience. King says right now the defense has potential and it will take a lot of hard work to play up to that.
King says they need to capitalize on the talent they have and put in a lot of work and effort. King was a running back and linebacker while in high school but his career took off after he was moved to the defensive line prior to the 2005 season. King says it was always his dream to play at the level he’s playing at now and he wants to keep improving.
Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker says King uses his experience as a linebacker to his advantage. Parker says it makes King more comfortable, and he has the quickness and good hands that make him a "real good player."
Parker says King has become one of the leaders on the team. He says King will do his share of talking but also leads and is a "I’m going over the hill, follow me type of guy."
Meanwhile, Parker maintains he is not even thinking about retirement. He is entering his tenth season with the Hawkeyes and his coaching career began back in 1965. "I got two reasons why I can’t retire," Parker says,"I don’t know how to do anything else. And my wife hates me."
Parker disputes the notion that the Hawkeyes have had trouble stopping teams that run the spread offense. He says the defense has fared well against teams employing that style. "All I heard about was Illinois’ spread offense. They’re still looking for the goal line," Parker says. Iowa opens the season August 30th at home against Maine.