February 4, 2010

Poggi excited to be a Hawkeye

Jim Poggi has been ready to sign with the Hawkeyes since the day he committed. On Wednesday morning, he and his high school teammate, Anthony Ferguson, signed their letters of intent and traded in blue and gray for black and gold. While the three star linebacker lives on the east coast, he has already developed a close bond with his fellow incoming linebackers. He talks about signing day, the relationships he has built, and the possible development of a Hawkeye rock band.

Q: How was signing day for you? Was it what you thought it would be?

POGGI: Absolutely. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. When I decided that Iowa was my choice, I was 100% sure. Honestly, I would have liked to sign the letter than instead of waiting all these months. I was really excited to actually make it official.

Q: After signing today, does it feel different?

POGGI: Oh yeah. I really feel like I am part of the team and a Hawkeye now. My colors have changed now from blue and gray to black and gold.

Q: You have built a pretty neat relationship with some of the guys that you are coming in with even though you haven't spent much time with them. Can you talk about the relationship with the other linebacker recruits?

POGGI: It's really cool. I have seen James (Morris) a few times when I have visited Iowa and I have hung out with him a little bit. What is cool about it is that it was really reaffirming to see that I fit in with the guys that I would be going to Iowa with this fall. We think the same. We get along really well and they laugh at my jokes. (laugh) It is hard to explain, but for a guy that I have only seen twice and two other guys that I have never met in person, you can tell that we are all going to be pretty good friends.

Q: You guys all seem to be the same type of players on the field too, the same mindset.

POGGI: Yeah I think so too. I think that goes to how Coach Ferentz recruits kids and what he looks for in players. We might not get the huge five star guys, but we get guys who fit what Iowa likes to do. If you have guys that fit the system and buy into it that really works well. As Coach Parker told me, if you have a guy who runs a 4.6, but plays at 4.4, it is a lot better than having a guy who runs a 4.4 and plays like a 4.6.

Q: You have a high school teammate that also signed with Iowa today. Did you and Anthony Ferguson have a ceremony at school today?

POGGI: Actually we didn't have school today because of conferences. Anthony came over here this morning and we had our families around us and we signed this morning.

Q: What kind of a player is Iowa getting in Anthony Ferguson?

POGGI: He is a freak of nature athletically. He is really tough. Surprisingly he is one of the fastest and quickest people around. He gets off the ball so quickly. There have been times when the ball is snapped and before I can look up he has the center all the way in the backfield.

Q: Will Marcus Coker have bragging rights over you guys after the beatdown he gave you guys last fall?

POGGI: (laugh) Yeah, but we got him good in our junior year.

Q: Has he given you guys a hard time about running over you?

POGGI: (laugh) A little bit, but not too much.

Q: The style of coaching that comes out of the Gillman School is very unique. How has that made you a better person?

POGGI: What they teach us is that a life worth living is not one, you know, just because you make a lot of money doesn't mean you are a good person. It is all about looking out for the people who have no one to look out for them. You have to stand up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. That is what we try to do.

Q: What are your plans this spring? Are you just working out and getting ready for football or are you playing any other sports?

POGGI: I am just working out and getting ready for football.

Q: Do you plan on getting out to Iowa right after graduation?

POGGI: Yeah, pretty much. I am getting out there as soon as I can.

Q: What will this move mean for the future of the rock band that you are in?

POGGI: (laugh) I know our drummer is going to Michigan, so that isn't too far away. I don't know if I will even be able to talk to him because he will be a Wolverine. I'll still play when I come back. It's a think that I like to do for fun.

Q: Are you going to try and recruit some of the guys on the Iowa team that might have some musical talent and put together a Hawkeye rock band?

POGGI: Absolutely. James and I have been talking about that. He sings in the choir in school. We have been talking about being a Creed cover band and calling ourselves "Hail Mary on two". (laugh)

Q: I think that might be a popular band in Iowa City and it could lead to a record deal. (laugh)

POGGI: (laugh) That would be awesome.

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