Defensive line a big focus for Hawkeyes

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We’re five months away from the 2019 season opener, but it’s never too early to talk Iowa football.

Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes football team are getting into their second week of spring practice in Iowa City as they prepare for the upcoming season.

The Hawkeyes are coming off a 9-4 season and the Outback Bowl win over Mississippi State. 

A big focus this spring will be the defensive line. The Hawkeyes must replace four senior starters up front and coach Kelvin Bell is hoping veterans A.J. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston can move into that leadership role.

Kelvin Bell, Iowa defensive line coach: “Those guys that graduated last year, the guys that left us, the four guys up front, the best thing they did was play together. And that didn’t start in August, that started in January. That started in the previous years before, so for them, just to increase their leadership. Both by example and vocally, and to continue to bring the group together. I think that’s what they need to improve on.”

A.J. Epenesa, Iowa junior defensive lineman: “The older guys, they had to go, but I mean it’s really like no one ever left. Just because we were so close before and we’re still close now and we’ve added John Waggoner, Nate Nelson and those guys have been here for a year. We’ve gotten pretty close to those guys too.”

Chauncey Golston, Iowa junior defensive lineman: “It’s just bringing the younger guys together and being able to do things non-verbally. Like okay, I know you see that and I see that, so we can just do this. It’s so much different.”

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