Joe Gaglione, defensive end
The inspirational leader of Iowa’s defense will have a busy day, trying to keep Steele Jantz from scooting around his end of the line. He had six tackles as a reserve in last Saturday’s one-point win against Northern Illinois, and he also forced a third-down fumble that Iowa turned into a 22-yard Mike Meyer field goal.
There’s more to his story than statistics: A fifth-year senior from Novelty, Ohio, Gaglione thought about quitting the team.
He missed the 2009 season and spring drills of 2010 while recovering from a torn labrum and a sports hernia. He was on the verge of giving up what he had done for so long.
“I’d been playing football since I was 8,” Gaglione said this week. “To have it all taken away from me for more than a year was tough to deal with.”
He was about to pull the plug when suddenly teammates Karl Klug and Mike Daniels intervened.
“They told me I was a good player — a young player with a lot of time left,” Gaglione recalled. “They told me to stick out out. I’m glad I listened to them.”
– By Randy Peterson
Ernst Brun, tight end
One touchdown is worth 1,000 words. So, Iowa State tight end Ernst Brun didn’t have much to say as he celebrated under the goal post last Saturday.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Brun said after catching a 7-yard scoring pass against Tulsa. “I looked at (Josh) Lenz and he was like ‘How does it feel?’ I was speechless.”
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Brun could emerge as a breakout player today, but he never imagined scoring in his first game. In fact, he never even thought he’d play college football. Basketball was his first love.
“I played quarterback all my life. I wanted to do that to stay tough,” Brun said. “But basketball was my No. 1 sport, my No. 1 love.”
Brun once played for an AAU team that featured future NCAA players such as Lorenzo Brown (North Carolina State) and Howard Thompkins (Georgia), as well as the Philadelphia 76ers’ Louis Williams.
“My dad (Ernst Sr.) can tell you to this day, every time we talk on the phone, we talk basketball,” Brun said. “We (may) talk football first, but we’re going to end up on basketball.”
– By Andrew Logue
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football