Oct. 23, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- John Kenny was preparing to be part of the University of Iowa defense while his high school teammates were preparing for prom.
Kenny, a freshman from Carmel, Ind., enrolled at the UI in the spring semester and participated in spring practice. It gave him more time to watch and learn under the current Hawkeye linebackers, especially senior James Morris.
"It helped a lot, learning behind the linebackers we have and getting the hang of the defense," Kenny said. "I was also learning a new position. I played outside in high school, so this was learning new technique."
As a Hawkeye, Kenny is slotted as a middle linebacker, where Morris is the starter. During camp, Kenny roomed with Morris and picked the brain of one of the most seasoned players on the 2013 Hawkeye team.
"They have so much experience, you learn so much being in the meeting room with them," Kenny said. "During camp I would go over the basics of the defense every night with James. Hitch (senior Anthony Hitchens) and Q (junior Quinton Alston) help a lot, too."
Kenny said another reason for his early arrived in Iowa City was to begin strength and conditioning workouts with coach Chris Doyle and his staff.
"That also helped a lot," Kenny said.
Kenny will wear the redshirt this season while he serves as a scout team middle linebacker. He also observes and participates in game plan situations.
"I won't be foreign to that next year or whenever I get my opportunity," Kenny said. "It's good to have that competitive mindset because there are new people coming in next year and competition is strong here. You have to get better every day."
The Hawkeyes (4-3 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) host Northwestern (4-3, 0-3) on Saturday with an 11:01 (CT) kickoff.