116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa senior right guard Kyler Schott said he’s baled hay hundreds of times, maybe thousands. But it was just this one time that things went wrong.
He leaped off a stack of hay bales and landed funny.
As a veteran starting member of Iowa’s coveted offensive line, Schott had to call Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz with the news — he broke his foot.
“It was one of the tougher things that I had to do,” Schott said. “I was sitting there like: do I call? Yeah, I have to call and say, ‘Hey Coach, I did something stupid.’ And he said, ‘All right, come talk to the trainers, we’ll figure it out.’”
Until last week, Schott wore a boot and helped where he could: coaching from the sidelines, teaching a young offensive line how to take on two ranked teams.
Most of those lessons, he said, were about how to overcome the mental aspects of the game on the line, like missing a block and getting ready for the next snap.
But Schott helped with more than one side of the ball. In the film room, he reviewed old plays with sophomore defensive lineman Logan Lee to talk through what they see from each other.
Offensive and defensive linemen reviewing film together is something defensive tackle Noah Shannon said was encouraged under former offensive line coach Tim Polasek. With Schott being injured, he had more time for it.
“You can ask them what are they looking for when we’re pass rushing or when they are run blocking,” Shannon said. “Where are they trying to reach us? Is it the number on our chest or is it our shoulder pads? It definitely gives you a better understanding of what they're trying to do”
Until Wednesday, Iowa defensive line coach Jay Niemann didn’t know Schott was reviewing film with Lee. It was done on his own time.
“There's some insights that guys can glean from one another that you wouldn't get by just sitting in your own position meeting,” Niemann said. “Because we have a close-knit team, I'm sure there's quite a bit of that going on.”
Schott returned on Saturday against Kent State, finally starting his senior season, walking through the tunnel, hand-in-hand with seniors Max Cooper and Ryan Gersonde, teammates he shared a dorm with during his freshman year.
It finally felt real for the former walk-on, now a leader of the swarm.
His first drive was trial-by-fire test, taking the first 11 snaps of the 20-play, 95-yard drive at left guard in the second quarter to put the Hawkeyes up 16-7 over the Golden Flashes. It felt good to be back, but admittedly, he said it’ll be a little longer until he’s 100 percent after missing all of fall camp. He still experiences soreness in his foot and after not hitting anyone since last fall, he’s not in peak shape.
“Yeah that was a barn burner,” Schott said. “That’s what Iowa football’s all about: them long drives and a lot of run plays, just knowing I was back out there competing.”
But his presence still made all the difference, strengthening a left side that running back Tyler Goodson had struggled to run through for the first two games.
Eighty-four of Goodson’s 153-yard game came from on the ground to the left side, with 48 around the left-guard position.
“Kyler knows how to play, I guess that sounds pretty basic and mundane, but guys that have been out there just react a little bit more naturally and a little quicker,“ Ferentz said. ”I don't think he finished the one drive he was in on, but he had to come out. It's going to take a while to get him back where he can play a full game, but it's good to have him in the mix.“
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