Linebacker Kube ready to help lead on defense

By Chris Dertz

With expectations for NIU football high this season, much of the anticipation is due to the strength of its defense. Redshirt senior linebacker Alex Kube figures to be one of the leaders for a unit that held opponents under 14 points on five occasions last season. After a team scrimmage last Thursday, Kube sat down with the Northern Star to discuss the defense’s progress.

Northern Star: Coming into camp, the defense looked like it was going to be solid once again, with the linebacker spot really the only position that was being questioned. How have you liked what you’ve seen, especially with the absence of Pat Schiller?

Alex Kube: Obviously Pat Schiller being out is a big deal to us. When he gets back, it’s going to be huge for us, but we have to move on and that’s just how things work. When he gets back we’re going to be ready. In terms of the young guys, they’ve been working so hard. As a freshman, it’s so hard to come in, especially because our coaches are ‘go, go, go’ and to come in and get through camp … I think they’ve done such a good job, showing up and trying to get better every single day. They’re still freshmen, so they still need to work, and the older guys, we still need to work, but I think when the time comes, they’re going to be ready to go. We’re just going to keep bringing them along, and it’ll be alright.

NS: How did you like what you saw out of the unit today?

AK: I thought it was good. The one thing is that at this point in camp is it’s a grind, just like [NIU head coach Jerry Kill] said, and it’s a grind right now. Your body is banged up like it would be the fourth week of the season. The thing about it is you have to find a way to show up, and I think people did a good job. We have to check out the film to know for sure.

NS: It looked like you guys were getting a lot of penetration. How does that make you feel about your level of play with Iowa State coming up?

AK: It feels great, especially when you’ve got guys up front that we have, as a linebacker that just puts a smile on your face. They’re going to allow you to run sideline to sideline. It just gets me excited. Iowa State’s going to be a good team. I’ve watched some film on them a couple times already, I watched them in the summer, and I’m telling you they’re going to be a good football team. What we do today is not going to have any bearing on what we do [against Iowa State], but as long as we keep getting better we’ll be fine.