Before Greg Mabin made the game-sealing interception on Aug. 30 in Iowa’s 31-23 win over Northern Iowa, he was (understandably) nervous.
In the week before the Hawkeyes’ first game of the 2014 season, sophomore Mabin was named Iowa’s starting left cornerback, opposite Desmond King. Head coach Kirk Ferentz discussed Mabin’s development on Aug. 26 during his weekly press conference; he said he was impressed with how Mabin had progressed over the last year.
“Last year, at this time, he was a scout-team player who really hadn’t done much to distinguish himself in a real positive way,” the coach said. “But to his credit, he worked hard, and then this spring, he really started to rise and get noticed through his hard work and his play out there on the field.
“Again, we had an opportunity, door was open, so he has really done a good job. We’ll see how he does this week, but I think he’s really prepared well and hopefully, he’ll play well this year and beyond.”
So, how did Mabin combat those nerves on Aug. 30?
“I called my mom last night,” he said postgame. “She’s a real big supporter of me; I had a nice long conversation with her.”
Mabin’s results weren’t particularly eye-popping against Northern Iowa. He finished with 4 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and that game-clinching interception he returned for 18 yards.
“It was definitely exciting,” he said. “It was good to get my first one out of the way, and I’m hoping to get a lot more.”
Overall, it wasn’t a bad outing for Mabin. He didn’t seem too jitter, and appeared confident at times — on his pass breakup, Mabin used his hands to knock the ball free while also tackling the receiver. It was a good play.
Even more, Mabin thought he was going to take the interception back for a touchdown. He nearly did but was caught from behind by Northern Iowa quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen.
“I wanted to; I really did,” Mabin said. “But my legs gave out on me.”
Cody is pretty high on Greg Mabin and believes he could be really good with more experience. If you agree, be sure to tell Cody, at email@example.com