IOWA CITY Maybe calling last year’s defensive line “The Beatles” is a stretch. Still, you know the names Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug and Christian Ballard. You know the pedigrees and what jersey numbers they now wear in the NFL.
So, if last year’s group was The Beatles, then the Hawkeyes’ D line this year is . . . Paul McCartney and Wings?
You know a couple of the lead players. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels and end Broderick Binns continue to carry the banner after contributions the last three seasons. They are the Paul McCartneys.
Quick, name the saxophone player for Wings? Wait, did Wings have a sax player?
The Hawkeyes (4 2, 1 1 Big Ten) have counted on and will continue to count on a few “Wings” on the D line this season, including this Saturday when they play host to Indiana (1 6, 0 3).
Against Northwestern, the Hawkeyes got a sack and a fumble recovery out of junior tackle Steve Bigach. He’s from Cleveland, he majors in something called integrative physiology and came to Iowa City as a 220 pound defensive lineman.
Bigach also cleaned up NU quarterback Dan Persa, who had Binns around his ankles, in the play that led to free safety Tanner Miller’s 98 yard interception return.
“It’s not really a personal thing, it’s just that I got to help the team,” Bigach said. “That’s the most important thing to me. I got to be a part of team win.”
Bigach only started because Tom Nardo sat out last week after suffering a knee injury at Penn State. After coming to Iowa as a 230 pound ish walk on, Nardo has earned a scholarship and a Big Ten defensive player of the week honor (12 tackles in week 3 against Louisana Monroe).
Dominic Alvis was all over the field jordan 5 last week. The 6 4, 255 pounder had two tackles for loss. He came to Iowa from Logan Magnolia, a Class 1A school located in Harrison County, just north of Council Bluffs. He eventually received a full scholarship to Iowa, but he first agreed to come in as a “gray shirt,” which means he would’ve paid his own way the first semester.
But Alvis is a name you know or kind of know. He’s had a few starts under his chinstrap this year. Iowa also squeezed four tackles out of Joe Gaglione and Joe Forgy, two players you might not know but who keep programs like Iowa afloat.
“You coach who you have,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s football at all levels and certainly in college football. Those guys have worked hard. They’re not there yet, but they went in and did some good things.
“. . . The key thing for us right now is for those guys to build on what good things they might have done.”
If Adrian Clayborn was Ringo Starr, then Lebron Daniel was Pete Best. Starr replaced Best, so that doesn’t exactly tell Daniel’s story. If The Beatles had an understudy, it would’ve been Daniel, who served as Clayborn’s primary backup for three seasons.
He began the season as a starter and then was beaten out by Alvis, but has now climbed back up the charts, piling up three tackles last week.
“It was tough [waiting his turn], but I wouldn’t change anything,” Daniel said. “I learned a lot from him, the tempo, how to play and how he operated on an everyday basis. I took notes and I’m trying to emulate that as much as I can.”
Last year, the Hawkeyes had nearly $12 million of future NFL contracts on the D line. This year, they have air jordan 4 integrative physiology, Logan Magnolia and Ellsworth Community College, where Forgy was before transferring to Iowa.
“You play behind some good guys Clayborn, Klug, Ballard, [Mitch] King and [Matt] Kroul you just kind of wait your turn and hope to keep building as a young guy and that it will pay off in the later years,” jordan 6 Bigach said. “Luckily for us, it has. It paid dividends Saturday.”
The resumes are short. A lot of the D linemen who contributed last week had spent more time in Iowa’s training rooms than on the practice field.
“Going into this year, he [Gaglione, who missed a season with a shoulder injury] and Dominic have missed more time in practice,” Ferentz said. “I think that’s fair to say, which is a concern.”
The contributions, so far, have added up. No more than against Northwestern, when the D line combined for all three Iowa sacks and six of the eight tackles for loss.