Iowa's Jake Gervase embracing 'next man up' philosophy

The former Assumption Knight has performed well in place of Brandon Snyder

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa's defensive backfield has been a revolving door for most of the season. On Saturday, junior safety and former Assumption Knight Jake Gervase stepped back in. 

"You just gotta be ready to go and I think we do a good job, and our coaches really stress that during the week," Gervase said. "You just gotta stay focused. You know, It's not easy, mentally. You want to be out there every play, but the coaches, you know, they got a game plan, and if you're in the game plan that week, you're gonna be out there and you gotta execute." 

Gervase was an integral part of two red-zone stands in the first half against the Golden Gophers. Those proved to be important in the Hawkeyes' 17-10 victory.

"Getting a turnover on down or a turnover, whether it's a pick or a fumble is big for us," Gervase said. "Getting off the field, getting the offense some momentum and giving them a chance to score." 

After being benched in week 3 against North Texas and demoted from the starting lineup the following week against Penn State, Gervase could have sulked about his situation. He didn't and seized the moment with eight tackles and an interception in the win over Minnesota.
 
"I know it didn't sit well with him obviously," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "You wouldn't want it to. He kept working, kept pushing. He's back out there playing right now. I think that's kind of consistent with the kind of guys we get to work with every day."
 
Junior cornerback Josh Jackson says Gervase's attitude and work ethic has permeated throughout the Hawkeyes secondary.  

"We're all one team," Jackson said. "You just wanna make sure that we come out to practice and give it our all. Whoever's in there, we wanna make sure that we're giving our best effort and playing as hard as we can to help the defense." 

"I'm just trying to take advantage of each and every day and add value to the team, whether it's defense or special teams," Gervase said. "I'm gonna do anything I can to help the team win." 

Brandon Snyder's injury status for next weekend's game against Ohio State is yet to be determined. That means Gervase could start his third consecutive contest, this one against J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes.

For more Hawkeye football coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter -- and now Facebook -- and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season.


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