Q&A: Jeremiah George reflects on his career as a Cyclone
The 2013 Iowa State football season has been a forgettable one. The Cyclones are 1-9 heading into Saturday's final home game against the 3-7 Kansas Jayhawks. Nationally, this isn't exactly appointment television. But on Saturday night, 21 very unforgettable Iowa State seniors will play their final home game in front of America's most loyal fan base.
One of those men is the Big 12's leading tackler, Jeremiah George. His 11.2 tackles per game stat ranks fourth nationally. George, a four-year player (did not redshirt) has come a long, long way in even the last two years.
He spoke about his time at Iowa State with reporters earlier this week.
Q: What do you want to be remembered for?
JG: Just the passion that I play with. The leadership that I try to bring. Even though we are a 1-9 football team, who knows what the rest of the season will unfold as. A lot of people won’t remember this team but if they do, I hope that they remember that I played with passion. I played every down. I did the best that I could.
Q: What do you anticipate senior night being like for you?
JG:Emotional. I know for a fact that I am probably going to cry. My parents came to this last Oklahoma game. Coach Rhoads came over and put his arm around my mom and dad and took them back down memory lane about when he came into my house and recruited me. He started to get a little choked up because I talked about wanting to be a Cyclone that night. Then my mom got choked up. Everything started to hit me. I have loved everything about this. Iowa State will be close to my heart for the rest of my life.
Q: How do you balance all of the emotion with having to play a game later that night?
JG: I think it will help me. I think it will give me that added adrenaline and added fire to play 60 minutes and not get tired no matter what down and distance it is, to overcome any adversity that we will face throughout the game. I am just really wanting to get this win for so many difference reasons and so many different people.
Q: Do you remember that scene in your living room when Coach Rhoads was recruiting you?
JG:Like yesterday. He was running a little bit late actually because he had just gotten done trying to recruit a guy from St. Pete. He got there and we ordered pizza. We all sat around our living room. My brother was sitting on the couch. My dad was sitting in between the couch and the kitchen area. Me and my mom were sitting at the table and Shane (Burnham) had a Power Point and was going through it. Coach Rhoads was clean shaved and he was using his mouthpiece and giving a great recruiting speech. I said, ‘Yeah, I want to be a Cyclone.’
Q: What was that speech like?
JG:I said at the Big 12’s media day that he was the top three in recruiting, just how he carries himself. He talked about how he is a passionate coach. He was trying to recruit passionate players, players who love the game. He told me he could tell by watching me play that I love the game. It was something that we connected with. We talked about a family atmosphere. He talked about Shane and Wally being father and son. He could tell that my dad and I were very close in the aspect of football and he used that as a tool and by making that connection, he made me want to play for his team.
Q: Can you describe what it has been like to play for Wally Burnham for four years?
JG: It has had its ups and downs. At first, we weren’t connecting very well. Then, somewhere, we kind of just connected a little bit better. Somewhere in between my sophomore and junior year his teaching and my learning kind of connected. It was simpler. He made the game simpler for me. He made things easier for me to understand and learning the game through is teaching was much easier.