Iowa CITY, Iowa - Your first time is always special. Riley McMinn won't soon forget his.
"Man, it was a blast," the Iowa defensive lineman said of his first college action last Saturday. "That's what we all work for as football players, all through camp and the summer. It just felt really good to get out there and play again not having played since my last high school game."
Unlike past years, Iowa is going with a rotation on its defensive front. The Hawkeyes employed eight guys on the line in Saturday's 9-6 loss against Iowa State. Fans could see at least that many this weekend when they play host to Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. (2:30 CT Saturday, BTN)
The Iowa coaches have liked what they've seen from McMinn since he arrived on campus last summer from Rochester (IL) High. They considered using him last season as a true freshman before deciding to go the red-shirt route. Still, he and classmate Darian Cooper dressed for most road games, not a common practice for first-year players.
"It opens the door to what the schedule would be like at the hotel, the stadium, the game atmosphere," McMinn said. "I'm a young player and I'm still developing. I'm looking to put on 15-20 more pounds. That would be ideal."
McMinn weighs 255 pounds, 40 more than he did when he arrived at Iowa.
"I still have a lot of work to do strength wise in pass rush and the run game," he said. "But I'm looking forward to what the future holds for me."