May 11, 2011

Blythe excited for next chapter

As Austin Blythe watched the final practice this spring for the Hawkeyes, it really started to sink in. The next time the Iowa Football team practices in August, he will be out there as a member of the team. The four star prospect is wrapping up his senior year and talks about how anxious he is to get started with the next chapter of his life.

Q: You won another state title in wrestling and now you have been doing some track and field this spring?

BLYTHE: Yep, I am doing shot and discus this spring.

Q: How has it gone for you?

BLYTHE: It's been good. We haven't had a lot of meets due to the rain and bad weather. We have districts this weekend and hopefully I get a chance to make it to state.

Q: You have been to a lot of football practices in Iowa City, but I'm sure going to the last practice this spring was even more interesting for you.

BLYTHE: Yeah it was. It was good to see all of the guys out in pads knowing that I will be out there with them this fall. It's a little surreal when I think about it. I am looking forward to it and it was good to be there.

Q: A lot of your future teammates in this recruiting class were in town for that practice. Was it fun to interact with them again in person?

BLYTHE: It was really neat to be able to talk with a lot of them as practice was going on. It was fun to catch up with them and happy we had the opportunity to be together.

Q: You are one of the in-state guys this year in this class. Will you have to point those guys in the right direction once they get here?

BLYTHE: A little bit. I'll do my best to give them suggestion on places to go and what to do when they get here. I grew up around here and I am not far from Iowa City, so I will help them out as much as I can.

Q: You are close to the coaches at Iowa and have been around them quite a bit since they first started recruiting you. Has the message from the coaches changed at all in the past few months?

BLYTHE: It's really been the same. They tell me to come in and be ready to work and prepare myself to do the work. I think I am ready to go in and work hard and see what happens from there.

Q: Are you to that point in your senior year where you are getting pretty anxious to get the college thing going?

BLYTHE: I am. I'm getting started on June 6th and I think I speak for the rest of the group in saying that we are all ready for the next chapter in our lives and we are anxious to get working.

Q: I talked to Julian Vandervelde after he got drafted by the Eagles and he said one of the happier things that he learned this spring was that you will be wearing his old number, #63.

BLYTHE: (laugh) Yeah, I actually saw him at the final spring practice and I told him that I got his old number. He thought that was pretty cool. I'm happy to wear that number and hopefully I will be able to represent it as well as he did the past five years.

Q: It is tough for an offensive lineman to break into the lineup as a true freshman. It's been done, but it is pretty rare. What is your mentality coming into the first year as far as playing time?

BLYTHE: I am going to come in and work hard and learn the playbook as well as I can. I also want to learn from the guys that are already there. I'll just come to practice and work hard every day. The way I see it is it would be a great opportunity if I do happen to get to play, but a redshirt year for a lineman can really help in terms of preparing for the future.

Q: Are you expecting to be bounced around a bit in that first year between center and guard?

BLYTHE: I think so. I am looking forward to that because I can be versatile and play more than one position on the offensive line. I think it will only help me in the long run, so I am looking forward to learning both positions.

Q: Any calls from Tom Brands?

BLYTHE: (laugh) He hasn't called. Who knows, maybe he will track me down once I get on campus. He's letting me do my own thing and letting me focus on football and I really respect that.

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