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Quinton Alston Ready To Lead Hawkeye Linebackers

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IOWA CITY Quinton Alston is new here. He's not new to the Hawkeyes. He's a senior and he's poised to take over the middle linebacker spot on a defense that returns its front four and that should be pretty good.

He's new to the spokesperson role. He's so new he reached out and offered to hold the mic for a cameraman during interviews Wednesday. He's new to the spotlight, and he's off to a good start in the manners department.

"I think he's really excited about it," Iowa inside linebackers coach Jim Reid said Wednesday, when asked about having a senior starter and that starter maximizing his one shot at the starting lineup.

"He's tough, he's physical, and you know what?" Reid said. "He has the respect of our players. When he speaks, he's like E.F. Hutton, people listen. [That's a reference to the commercials for the Hutton financial company.]"

Alston, a 6-1, 232-pounder from Sicklerville, N.J., is eager not anxious. He wants the pressure. This is what he's been working up to and now here it is.

"My sophomore year, I think was pretty much sitting back and admiring what was in front of me," Alston said. "There was James [Morris], Christian [Kirksey] and Anthony [Hitchens, the three seniors who started at linebacker last season], I tried to become a student of the game.

"I sat back and learned and tried to take it all in. I was set on learning more and with that going on I started to think a little more. Now, that I have all the details and the bigger concepts down, I think I'm starting to play faster and let my talent show."

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