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Iowa's Marvin McNutt Jr. discusses becoming a receiver, dealing with asthma

INSIGHT BOWL — Marvin McNutt Jr. could be a big part of the Hawkeyes' game plan against OU in the Insight Bowl. McNutt didn't play football until his sophomore year of high school.
by Jenni Carlson Published: December 28, 2011

Marvin McNutt Jr. arrived at Iowa as a quarterback. But four years later, he is the Hawkeyes' biggest receiving threat. He leads the team with 1,269 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches, and he could be a huge part of the game plan in the Insight Bowl against Oklahoma after the suspension of leading running back Marcus Coker.

McNutt spoke with The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson about his journey to become a big-time wide receiver.

When did you know you were meant to be a receiver?

I'd say it was after the Michigan State game ... two years ago. I kind of started seeing that things were falling in place and I can do this.

So not until your redshirt sophomore year of college?

Yeah, it was still a battle. I still didn't feel like I was in shape. Plus, I wasn't getting as much playing time as I wanted to and I kept getting injuries. It didn't really finally fall in place until then.

Had you played receiver growing up?

I never played football until my sophomore year of high school, and then, I started off playing quarterback. The next year, me and another guy had a battle, and he won for the first six games, then I took over and we went to state.

Why hadn't you played football until then?

My mom wouldn't let me. I have asthma, and she was always a little skeptical of me going out there and playing football. I always played baseball and basketball. Football was a little more dangerous.

So, how'd you convince her to let you play?

I told her I was going out. The thing is, me and my buddy said we were going out, but he ended up passing, so I told myself that I was going to make sure I keep my word and make sure I go out for the football team.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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