By Paul M. Banks
Urlacher. Butkus. Stonebreaker- all are fantastic names of star collegiate linebackers who are or have been regarded as legend…wait for it…dairy in the Midwest. The tradition continues in Iowa City with senior Pat Angerer, who was named to this year’s Butkus Award and Lott Trophy watch lists.
When asked about his name fitting his job: “I never really thought anything of it until I started playing at Iowa, and people started bringing it up. I don’t mind it. It’s alright,” Angerer replied at Big Ten Media Day. Angerer was named pre-season first team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele’s College Football and Lindy’s College Football, based on the big success he had as a junior last year.
“Last year I was competing with another guy and going through camp he was still ahead of me, but I knew that if I put my nose down and persevered, worked hard, I would experience success and that’s what happened and I’m thankful for it,” Angerer stated sounding a bit like Hulk Hogan.
Last year at this time, he found himself in a completely different football world, as issues and doubt had crept in. There were times in 2007 when Angerer couldn’t even stand to watch the game of football. So his journey to where he is today (very close to the summit and attracting attention of NFL scouts) is all the more special.
“I think it was the most satisfying,” Pat said when I asked him if last year was the most enjoyable football season of his life. All the stats and facts bear this out. Angerer was Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week vs. Wisconsin, and perhaps the team’s most valuable defensive player in their Outback Bowl win over South Carolina, the only postseason victory for a Big Ten team. Last year, he ranked second in the Big Ten and tied for 28th nationally in interceptions at .38 per game.
He also ranked sixth in the Big Ten with 8.2 tackles per game, and led the Hawkeyes in tackles with 107. All this earned him a second team all-Big Ten honor from the league coaches. Pat defines his best asset as such “my athleticism gets me out of trouble a lot of times, sometimes I might take that wrong read step, or get in bad position and my athleticism helps me get out of it.”
Angerer should also get another boost from having especially grueling practices this year, as everyday he scrimmages agasint one of the best position groups in the NCAA: the Iowa Offensive line. “We know going into practice that we’re going to have to bring it, otherwise they’re going to kick our butt, but we know all their checks at the line of scrimmage, so we kind of cheat in that way. We kind of know what they’re going to do,” he said. So as his practice prep makes him an even more special player come gameday this fall, what kind of heights could he reach?
“I looked up to Chad Greenway a lot. I’m not half the player he is, but I hope to eventually be there someday.”