By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Defeating Michigan on Saturday might be a problem for the struggling Iowa football team, but disliking the Wolverines shouldn’t be, thanks to senior captains LeShun Daniels and Desmond King.
They both told reporters on Tuesday that they didn’t like Michigan while growing up.
That’s easy to understand with Daniels because his father was an offensive lineman for rival Ohio State in the 1990s.
King, on the other hand, grew up not far from the Michigan campus in Detroit, but was a Michigan State fan.
“I’m not a big fan of Michigan and I wasn’t growing up a big fan of Michigan,” King said. “I was a State fan.”
Daniels was born and raised to dislike Michigan as the son of former Ohio State offensive lineman LeShun Daniels Sr.
“Obviously, this is a big week, especially being from Ohio,” Daniels said. “No one really likes Michigan at all. The team from up north is what they call them in Ohio.
“So growing up and being a Buckeye fan and watching way back then, it was always a big week and it was always a big game and it was always pretty important implications whenever that game came. It was always big, and obviously, I was always rooting for the Buckeyes.”
Daniels said his family, which includes Iowa sophomore center James Daniels, used to gather with other relatives and friends to watch the annual showdown between Ohio State and Michigan.
“It was big in my household,” Daniels said. “Everybody would get together and we’d watch together. It was always a good time.”
Daniels didn’t play in Iowa’s last game against Michigan in 2013. So Saturday will be his first and only chance to defeat his father’s most hated rival.
“I know my dad doesn’t particularly like them because his senior year they had lost to Michigan and that was the only loss they had that season,” LeShun Daniels said. “So obviously it’s going to be big in my household. It’s a big game and I’m excited for the challenge.”
Daniels said his father hasn’t given him any advice or inspiration other than reminding him that Michigan always deserves respect.
“He just said that Michigan is always a good team and they’re going to compete hard and give effort,” Daniels said. “They’re going to have talented players, obviously, all across the board. So you’ve got to make sure that you’re on your game whenever you play them.”
Waechter’s career over for medical reasons: Redshirt freshman Brett Waechter was listed as Iowa’s backup left tackle heading into the season.
But now barely two months later, his career is over for medical reasons.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed it with reporters on Tuesday.
Waechter then announced on Twitter that he was quitting football for health reasons. The Hartley native said he has struggled with vomiting for years and couldn’t take it any longer.
Waechter didn’t mention any specific illness. He just said that he threw up a lot and couldn’t overcome that obstacle anymore.
“Slowly and consistently over the four years I can remember it starting, it has gotten worse,” Waechter said. “And now is has become impossible for me to fight through it.”
Waechter said he will stay enrolled at the University of Iowa and has no plans to play football for another school.