May 18, 2011

McMinn bounces back

Riley McMinn admits that he will likely redshirt in his first year on the Iowa campus, but that hasn't stopped the future Hawkeye defensive lineman from working hard in the gym. His road to work bulk to his frame had a slight detour after offseason shoulder surgery that kept him out of the weight room for a few months. Now he is healthy and ready to go.

Q: What have you been doing since signing day in February?

McMINN: Not sure if you were aware or not, but I had surgery on my labrum (shoulder). I just recently got released and since then I have been hitting the weights pretty hard.

Q: That had to be tough for you since you were hoping to add some weight to your frame this spring.

McMINN: Yeah it was. I haven't been able to do a lot for a few months. I'm getting back in the swing of things now. Obviously I am a little weaker, but I will build it back up.

Q: Are you assuming at this point that you are going to redshirt because of the surgery and the fact that you needed to add weight?

McMINN: I am coming in looking to compete and play, but it's more than likely that I will redshirt.

Q: You came in for the spring game. You got to hang out with some of the other guys coming in with you. What was that experience like for you?

McMINN: It was really neat to get to know some of the other guys and see them in person. Those are the guys that I will be family with the next four or five years. I talk to Austin Blythe a lot and we have a good relationship. I enjoyed the visit.

Q: What has the message been from the coaches since signing day?

McMINN: Basically to get healthy and to continue to work hard. Then when I get there, continue to work and learn the system.

Q: You were talking about your relationship with Austin Blythe. Do you guys joke around about going up against each other the next four or five years in practice?

McMINN: Oh yeah. There is always going to be a little tension between the offensive line and defensive line. We are both looking forward to going head to head and making each other better.

Q: When do you graduate and when do you get to Iowa City this summer?

McMINN: We graduate on the 28th and I will be at Iowa on June 5th. I plan on living there all of June and then going home for all of July. Then I will report back the first week of August.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during that month in Iowa City?

McMINN: I want to get more familiar with the current players and coaches and learn as much as I can from them. I want to workout and get used to the overall program and how they do things on a day to day basis.

Q: Have the coaches told you what number you are wearing?

McMINN: I know they have it, but I don't know for sure. They had them at the spring game, but I didn't go down to check on what number I will be wearing.

Q: Iowa is recruiting your high school QB. Tell me about Wes Lunt.

McMINN: He is a really good kid. It was great to play with him the past year and he helped lead us to a state championship. He is a pretty quiet kid and not real vocal, but he gets the job done. He is a really good player.

Q: Iowa hasn't offered him yet, but they could be close to doing so. Are you selling him on Iowa?

McMINN: Oh yeah. I am putting on my used car salesman outfit a little bit. (laugh) We will see where it goes, but he seems pretty interested. He really likes the Iowa coaches and Coach O'Keefe was in a few weeks ago watching him throw.

Q: Are you getting anxious as this chapter of your life closes and you start a new one with the Hawkeyes?

McMINN: I am. High school was fun, but it is time to move on to the next chapter and I am looking forward to being a Hawkeye.

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