Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tyler Nielsen named National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete of the Day

March 26, 2012

College Football Hall of Fame coaches Frank Broyles and Darrell Royal appeared at the Champion United to Fight Alzheimer’s Spring Luncheon last week in Dallas. Included in the luncheon panel were former Arkansas players Jerry Jones (an NFF Board Member), Chuck Dicus (a 1999 College Football Hall of Fame inductee), Ken Hatfieldand Bill Montgomery, and former Texas player Tom Campbell, Tommy Stocktonand James Street.

The NFF has two dates on’s "The 50 Most Important Days of the College Football Season" list. The two dates are the May 15 announcement of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, where the 2012 Hall of Fame Class will be inducted.

College Football Hall of Famer Herschel Walker (Georgia) recently urged servicemen to take care of their mental health.

NFF Board Member and 2008 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award honoree Bill Battle has been named a Sports Business Champion by Sports Business Journal.

NFF Board Member Jim Nantz has been nominated for a Sports Emmy. A two-time Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-By-Play honoree, Nantz has again been nominated in that category. Nantz will call the NCAA Final Four courtside on March 31 and April 2.

2006 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award honoree College GameDay on ESPN was once again nominated for a Sports Emmy in Outstanding Studio Show – Weekly. Kirk Herbstreit received a Sports Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst” as well.

The documentary film focusing on the Army-Navy rivalry game, A Game of Honor, featuring 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy winner Andrew Rodriguez (Army) and 2011 NFF National Scholar-Athlete John Dowd (Navy), was also nominated for a Sports Emmy under Outstanding Sports Documentary. The film also boasted four other nominations under technical and promotional categories.

2011 Campbell Trophy semifinalist Ben Boothby (Northern Iowa) was named the FCS ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year last week.

College Football Hall of Famer Bo Jackson (Auburn) will be doing a charity bike ride across Alabama from April 24-28. Find information at

College Football Hall of Fame coach Lloyd Carr spoke at a fundraiser for Bedford (Mich.) High School last week.

Campbell Trophy semifinalist Tyler Nielsen of Iowa is the NFF's Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments. Check daily at to see which Campbell Trophy candidate is the Scholar-Athlete of the Day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dallas Clark returns to Kinnick to be honored by Heart Association

By Alexson Calahan

March 21, 2012

The American Heart Association and Mercy Hospital Iowa City and the University of Iowa Heart & Vascular Center bring you the 2012 Heart of Gold Gala on Friday, March 30. This annual gala is designed to raise money to benefit cardiovascular education and research – including more than 30 projects currently being funded at the University of Iowa.

This year, our special guest will be Dallas Clark, former Iowa Hawkeye football player and former Indianapolis Colt, who will be honored as a Hawkeye Heart Hero – a new award for volunteerism. He will be honored for his work furthering the American Heart Association’s mission. In honor of his mother, who passed away from a heart attack when he was just 18 years old, Dallas has served as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement.

Guests can enjoy a wine reception, craft beer sampling, heart-healthy hors d’oeuvers, music. and a live and silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit heart education and research. Last year, the Heart of Gold Gala raised $80,000.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Klug Surprised Opponents, NFL in 2011

By Gary Glenn

March 8, 2012

At 6-foot-3, 275 pounds, Karl Klug is not your prototypical defensive tackle. While his lack of size at the position may have scared off some teams in last year’s draft, the Titans were thrilled he was still available when they made their selection in the fifth round.

Little did they know Klug would produce at such a high level early on in his NFL career.

He played in all 16 games (one start) and led the team with seven sacks, 32 tackles, 10 QB pressures, two tackles for loss, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles. One of Klug’s best games came against New Orleans when he sacked Saints QB Drew Brees twice at LP Field.

Klug was the second of three defensive tackles taken by the Titans in 2011 (Jurrell Casey and Zach Clayton were the others) and part of an overall draft class that made huge contributions and exceeded most everyone’s expectations last season.

Titans head coach Mike Munchak calls Klug a “natural” pass rusher that will play a big role on Tennessee’s defense line in 2012.

“When you turn the tape on, he’s a guy that can beat somebody 1-on-1. A lot of d-linemen just can’t do that consistently like he can,” Munchak said. “He’s great with his hands, has great body control…that’s what we saw on the draft tape and that’s what we’re seeing now.”

Klug compensates for his lack of size with a combination of quickness and wrestling maneuvers he learned while competing in high school.

“I think that’s helped me out a lot,” Klug said. “Even though that was in high school, I still think that’s helped me up to this point as far as being aggressive with my hands, understanding leverage and playing underneath the guy. In wrestling, you are constantly in an athletic stance. You have bent knees. That’s how you want to play football — you don’t want to stand straight-legged.”

At times Klug catches larger offensive linemen off-guard.

“I’m assuming they’re probably licking their chops when they see my skinny (butt),” Klug said.
But Klug’s production in college — 9.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss during his final two seasons at Iowa — didn’t get past Titans scouts and key decision makers.

“Maybe some teams have size parameters, and so they put those guys lower on their draft board,” Titans GM Ruston Webster said. “I think everybody saw that he was a good football player. He went to the East-West (game), he did well. His tape was good. He stood out on a very good college defensive line and made a lot of plays for them. It’s just when do you take that guy that’s a little bit undersized, and how do you play him?”

Munchak credits Webster and former Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt for finding players like Klug that fit the Titans’ system. With a little more upper body strength, Munchak believes Klug can become an excellent player in this league.

“It’s up to us to keep developing him and getting him to play more,” Munchak said. “He played a lot inside. We limited him a little more last year to passing downs. He could probably work on his upper-body this year to gain some weight to help him dramatically. But he’s a great kid, a great guy to have on your team. He led our team in sacks last year and he can up that number every year. He’s a special guy that really has a chance to make a difference in this league.”

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