IOWA CITY — It’s generally the same players who show up for media interviews Tuesdays at the University of Iowa football complex.
Quarterback Nate Stanley walks down a flight of stairs about 10:45 a.m. each week and assumes the position in front of an array of TV cameras. Defensive lineman Parker Hesse is there on a near-weekly basis, as is safety Amani Hooker.
But there was a newbie this week. Chauncey Golston made his season debut Tuesday and was friendly and thoughtful in his answers to questions.
Did he feel like Iowa’s fourth defensive end, he was asked. Hesse and Anthony Nelson are the Hawkeyes starters, with A.J. Epenesa getting plenty of run as well, particularly on passing downs.
“No,” Golston said immediately, with a bit of a frown on his face. “I feel like all of us make one team. The whole piece is better than its parts. If you just do your part, then we’ll be better as a team.”
Has he been happy with his first real playing time?
“I wouldn’t say that I’m pleased because I knew I could do more,” the sophomore said. “Just keep trying to get better day by day. I just want to show up more in both the running and pass game. That’s all on me.”
Golston has been a solid and underrated member of a line that is Iowa’s defensive strength. He has 23 tackles, one more than Epenesa, including six for loss, 2 1/2 sacks.
He leads the team with two fumble recoveries.
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Golston came to Iowa with Detroit’s East English Village Prep high school teammate Cedrick Lattimore as a 224-pound end. He’s now 265 pounds and has the ability to play end or tackle.
“It wasn’t getting bigger and stronger, because I knew Coach (Chris) Doyle was going to take care of that,” Golston said, when asked what was his biggest adjustment to college football. “I would say it was time management off the field. Because what you do off the field affects what you do on the field. That was the biggest challenge for me transitioning from high school.”
Golston has even been part of a unique defensive package that also includes Hesse, Epenesa and Nelson. That’s essentially four ends.
“We’re expecting to hit home,” he said, with a smile. “We’re four fast guys, and we’re just trying to get to the quarterback.”
You can see this kid playing an even bigger role for Iowa in his final two years.
“You know, we have very good chemistry as a whole group, not just the defensive ends,” he said. “That’s really powered by our seniors. Parker Hesse and those guys. With good senior leadership, any team can grow.”
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