Poock back to tackling after knee injury

The linebacker has 24 total tackles on the year, tied for the most for Minnesota.

Line back Cody Poock at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday where the Gophers defeated Kent State 10-7.

Melissa Scharf / Daily File Photo

Line back Cody Poock at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday where the Gophers defeated Kent State 10-7.

Mike Hendrickson

An anterior cruciate ligament that tore last year in Cody Poock’s right knee doesn’t seem to be bothering the linebacker at the moment.
 
The redshirt sophomore’s 18 solo tackles through the Gophers first three games leads the team by six. Before this year, he last played in a regular season game with Iowa Western community college in 2013.
 
Poock tore his ACL in Minnesota’s 2014 spring game, but in his first start against Kent State this past weekend, he had eight solo tackles, leading his team by four.
 
“He’s got great instincts. He’s a hard-nosed, nasty old kid,” head coach Jerry Kill said. “[He] lets that hair grow, [he’s a] tough guy. [He’s the] kind of guy I wish I could recruit 100 of. He’s really playing at a high level right now, and we got him for two more years.”
 
Poock, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 230 pounds with blonde hair running down to his shoulders, spent a year at Iowa Western before transferring to Minnesota. 
 
Coming out of Okoboji in northern Iowa, a town of just over 800 people, Poock said he wasn’t recruited too heavily by the state’s two main Division I universities: the
University of Iowa and Iowa State University.
 
The latter especially hurt, as Poock grew up a Cyclones fan.
 
“I didn’t have the offers I wanted,” Poock said. “Not many schools were coming after me. … [Iowa State] said they had a preferred walk-on spot for me, but I’m way too stubborn to walk on anywhere.”
 
Poock was confident he could field better offers coming out of Western Iowa, and he was right. He said his decision came down to Minnesota, the program he now plays for, and Texas Christian University, the school he played against in his first game with the Gophers.
 
Kill said he believes because he himself comes from an area with junior colleges, he’s confident coaches won’t send a player his way that isn’t ready.
 
“He’s a natural football player,” Kill said of Poock. “They’re not going to send us a kid that’s not going to fit in with me.”
 
Poock has fit in well. He and the linebackers have received praise from the coaches, helping the second level of defense, ranked in the top 30 in the FBS for least points allowed.
 
“Athletically, yeah, he is [back from his injury],” defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said. “He ran around pretty good [in his first start.]”
 
Poock said playing on a unit with so many standouts has helped him in his first few games with the team.
 
“We don’t have one person out there running the whole thing,” Poock said. “We’re all playing together. We’re all on the same page. Everybody’s got to make plays out there, so we’re all just playing as one.”
 
As for his right knee, Poock said it’s feeling fine, and he has been full-go in most practices this year, though he has felt a little bit of soreness at times.
 
The Iowa native will return to his home state when the Gophers play the University of Iowa on Nov. 14. Poock’s birthday is just two days before that.
 
“There’d be no greater feeling than beating Iowa in [Kinnick Stadium in] a night game,” Poock said. “That’d be a great birthday present.”