Marvin McNutt, Iowa Idol

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IOWA CITY -- A few hours after Marvin McNutt entered the Iowa Hawkeyes' panthenon of big-moment football heroes, he came back to Iowa City and went wild.

"I put some gas in my car," McNutt said Tuesday. "Then I went to my bed. I was just exhausted."

Sleep didn't come totally easy, though, because roommate/teammate Christian Ballard wanted to see everything ESPN had to show on Iowa's 15-13 win at Michigan State.

"He was talking all night for a while," McNutt said. "He was the one who actually saw (McNutt's 7-yard game-winning catch on the final play) it first. He said it was on ESPN and all this other stuff. I was like, whatever."

Since then, McNutt admitted, he's seen the play "probably 15 times.

"Every time I watch it I get goose bumps. It's crazy. Last year I probably didn't want to go into a game like that."

Because he had run a couple of fade routes and MSU cornerback Chris L. Rucker had stayed on the outside, McNutt encouraged Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe and quarterback Ricky Stanzi to throw to him on the inside.  The rest genuinely is history.

McNutt said he got about 45 text-messages after the game. All that remained was to was to come home and find his name was a household word on the Iowa campus, in Iowa City-Coralville, and across the state.

“You don’t really understand how many people are really affected by this game (the 15-13 win at Michigan State last Saturday) until you get back here,” McNutt said. “Every time you look up and somebody’s kind of looking at you like ‘I think that’s him, I don’t know.’ It’s kind of surreal.

“Sunday, I still didn’t believe I made (the catch) till I went to the mall. A little kid came up to me and asked me for an autograph. It was kind of surreal, just to be part of a game like that and actually have that play.

"It's really just a blessing, that's all I can say."

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